Graeme Swann: I didn't criticise England players and newspapers got it wrong
Graeme Swann has told Sky Sports "categorically" his criticism of arrogant Test cricketers was not aimed at England.
Last Updated: 24/12/13 12:24pm
The off-spinner, who retired from all cricket earlier this week, left the international arena with a parting shot at "some people playing the game at the minute (who) have no idea how far up their own backsides they are."
That was interpreted by some as a swipe at some of his former England team-mates - and in particular, Kevin Pietersen.
But Swann immediately denied those suggestions and, in an interview to be broadcast in full during Sky Sports' coverage of the fourth Ashes Test, he accused the written press of adding "two and two and coming up with 55."
Asked by Ian Ward if any England players were his target Swann, part of the side beaten heavily in the first three Tests this winter, said: "Categorically, no.
"I think there are certain players round the world who - let's say - are a bit full of themselves at the minute, and they'll come back to earth with a bump.
"I think KP summed it up beautifully the other day when we were talking about somebody - I can't even remember who. He said you never judge a player when he's doing well, you judge him when he's doing badly.
"That was the point I was trying to make - there are certain guys flying at the minute, but the game's going to come back and bite them on the backside, so those little comments they make, silly little press conferences, they'll come back and hurt them.
"I certainly wasn't having a go a the England team. I find it a real shame that the written press all concluded I was on about Kev and the England team when, if they'd asked me, I'd have told them it wasn't."
Pietersen laughed off the row when asked for his response ahead of the Boxing Day Test and claimed the criticism would have been water off a duck's back even if it was directed his way.
He said: "Come and field with me on the boundary this week and see what I get called - a lot worse.
"But I'm not giving any energy to what happened yesterday. The only energy I've got left is for Melbourne and Sydney."
Asked to comment on Swann's retirement, he said: "People make decisions. He's a 34-year-old grown man, he had a fantastic career for England, and now it's a great chance for Monty Panesar."
You can see the Graeme Swann interview in full during Sky Sports' coverage of the Boxing Day Test. Watch the first part before play starts on Day One and the second part on Ashes Extra on Day Two. Coverage begins at 10.30pm on Christmas Day, Sky Sports 2