Craig Kieswetter says England dressing room was riven by cliques
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Craig Kieswetter says England dressing room was riven by cliques

Posted on - June 22 Monday, 2015

 Success changed people’ says wicketkeeper
 ‘There was a sense of them and us’

Craig Kieswetter has said that the England team he played in was riven by cliques with players dividing up into South Africans against English during training sessions.

The former Somerset wicketkeeper and batsman said that although he entered a united dressing room in early 2010, winning the World T20 and then the Ashes in Australia “changed people”.

“It wasn’t just us competing against the opposition,” he told ESPNCricinfo. “There was a sense that some of us were competing against one another.

“By the time we were No1 in the world, it was a very different dressing room. Success changed people. Cliques developed. There were jokes made in the dressing room if you had a South African background. When we warmed up in training, we were split into sides: South Africans v English.

“It created an unnecessary divide. A sense of them and us. It grew worse. The Test players were together so much that, when the limited-overs players turned up, it felt like you were on the outside. The Test guys hung out with each other; the limited-overs guys hung out. The spirit I experienced in those first few weeks was never there again.”

Kieswetter, who was born in Johannesburg, was forced to call a halt to his career at 27 after damaging his eye in a County Championship match for Somerset against Northamptonshire last July.

He was man of the match when England defeated Australia in the 2010 World Twenty20 final but feels that in the long run, his time with England was detrimental to his game.

“I started out playing with freedom; I ended up caged. I had a good record as an opener and they asked me to bat at No6. It’s tough, but I’m disappointed with the way I responded to it.”

His eye injury, he added, had been impossible to overcome. “I’m not the same player,” he said. “I’m not as good as I want to be and I never can be.”