MX23RW : Monday, September 24 08:01:39

Alastair Cook: 'Matt Prior is a great man'

England captain Alastair Cook is adamant that Matt Prior was not a bully or a negative influence in the dressing room amid criticism from Kevin Pietersen.

Alastair Cook has insisted that wicketkeeper Matt Prior was not a negative influence in the England dressing room.

Kevin Pietersen hit out at his former teammate in his autobiography, claiming that he was bullied by Prior, and that the 32-year-old was very critical during Test matches.

"Matty is a great man and has been a fantastic servant to English cricket," Cook told BBC Sport.

"He has to be remembered as a guy who put his heart and soul on the line for England. The team was all that mattered to him.

"It's sad that he could be remembered like that. He's put everything in to that England shirt and can be incredibly proud."

Cook also feels that Pietersen's book has "tarnished" England's success under Andy Flower.

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Alastair Cook of England speaks to the media during a press conference at the end of day five of the Second Ashes Test Match between Australia and England at Adelaide Oval on December 9, 2013
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