Woakes - No problems with negativity

PA Sport
Chris Woakes insists he's been made to feel welcome in the England dressing room
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Chris Woakes insists he's been made to feel welcome in the England dressing room

The Kevin Pietersen saga may continue to cast a shadow over England's summer, but Warwickshire all-rounder Chris Woakes insists there has been no negative effect on dressing room harmony.

Pietersen remains exiled from the national side for the time being, with the apparent reversal of his one-day retirement not enough to bring him into contention for the current NatWest Series against South Africa.

"Kevin is a fantastic player but there is a lot of talent in the dressing room. It's hard for me to comment about what happened in the Test series, because I've never been in a Test squad," he said."But this is a fantastic dressing room to come into."

The England and Wales Cricket Board are seeking resolution to a number of issues involving their star batsman - not least the "provocative" text messages sent by Pietersen to opposition players and the ongoing issue of availability for the Indian Premier League.

Newspaper reports on Sunday suggested Pietersen may also have been critical of debutant James Taylor in his last Test appearance at Headingley, though the ECB refuse to comment on such speculation while negotiations between the parties continue.

Like Taylor, Woakes is a relatively inexperienced member of the England set-up with five ODIs and three Twenty20 caps to his name and despite the turbulence Andy Flower's side are currently experiencing, he has seen nothing but positivity from his team-mates.

Woakes added: "Everyone is welcoming when fresh faces come in for a one-day series. It doesn't seem to change really.

"Everyone welcomes each other in and there's banter flying round. It's a good pace to be and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else but an England dressing room."

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