Swann was not criticising Pietersen

England

Former England spinner Graeme Swann has confirmed he was not referring to batsman Kevin Pietersen, after labelling some England team-mates as "up their own backsides".

Former England spinner Graeme Swann has confirmed he was not referring to batsman Kevin Pietersen, after labelling some England team-mates as "up their own backsides".

Swann, who retired from international and first-class cricket with immediate effect on Sunday, and was meticulous avoiding specific names during the heavily-criticised description.

"I wasn't talking about Kevin or any England player when I made comments during my retirement press conference," Swann wrote in a column for <i>The Sun</i>.

"Myself and Kev have had a very good working relationship and his reintegration back into the team has been spot on.

"The truth is I was talking about other players around the world who don't carry themselves in a manner I think is befitting of wearing an international shirt.

"With hindsight, I should have clarified there and then that I wasn't talking about England players, rather than leaving it hanging in the air."

The uncapped Scott Borthwick and inexperienced James Tredwell have been added to the squad in the absence of Swann, while left-armer Monty Panesar will likely be drafted into the playing XI for the penultimate fixture of a series England have lost three-nil.

"The England dressing room is a very happy place." added Swann. "We are disappointed with how this series has gone, but we still support each other.

"Nobody is shirking responsibility. Everyone is being honest with each other and is desperate to put things right.

"There is no way I would think any England players are up their own backsides. They handle themselves superbly."

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