England batsman Eoin Morgan has come out in support of his sacked and controversial colleague Kevin Pietersen, calling him a mate while refusing talks of a bullying culture in the dressing-room.
Like Pietersen, Morgan also adopted England as his home. While Pietersen flew down from South Africa to make his name and fortune with English cricket, Morgan had moved across from Ireland. Both men, dangerous middle-order batsmen, struck an immediate rapport in England's competitive cricket culture. And that is something Morgan is not ready to forget despite Pietersen creating a certain sense of acrimony with some of the country's top stars, including James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Alastair Cook. ('Pietersen Ouster Loss for International Cricket')
"Kevin, for me, is a guy who commands huge respect, a guy I'll always remember for the performances he put in and the experience he gave me when I first came into the side," Morgan was quoted as saying in the Sydney Morning Herald. "He was very welcoming and I spent a lot of time with him, learning from him. He'll always remain like that in my eyes regardless of what's come out."