Updated: Monday, 23 December 2013 19:42 | By Agence France-Presse

Swann denies 'backside' comment aimed at England teammates

Graeme Swann on Monday denied he was referring to any of his current England teammates with his caustic comment "they have no idea how far up their own backsides they are".

Swann denies 'backside' comment aimed at England teammates

Graeme Swann (hatless) is congratulated by teamates for dismissing Australian opening batsman David Warner in the third Ashes Test in Perth on December 15, 2013

The off-spinner stunned the sport by announcing his immediate retirement on Sunday from all forms of cricket following England's defeat to Australia in the Ashes.

But the 34-year-old caused a stir with comments that were intrepreted as being directed towards members of the England team, who are trying to avoid a 5-0 series sweep by Australia in the final two Ashes Tests.

"Some people playing the game at the minute have no idea how far up their own backsides they are," Swann said in comments carried by the Daily Telegraph ahead of the fourth Test which starts in Melbourne on Thursday.

"It will bite them on the arse one day and when it does I hope they look back and are embarrassed about how they carry on."

Former England captain Michael Vaughan and ex-English player Derek Pringle were among those who were convinced that Swann was referring to current members of the side.

But Swann, who last week was forced to apologise for a "crass and offensive" comment after he compared the third Ashes Test loss to Australia to being "raped," again took to social media to deny the claims.

"Don't jump to conclusions Vaughney. I wasn't talking about the England dressing room or anyone in it. You too bbc," Swann tweeted.

 In another post, Swann took aim at Pringle with: "just because Derek Pringles writes something I find it astonishing that people buy into it?! Making stuff up sells papers I suppose."

Swann did not identify the people he was most disenchanted with in his initial comment, but in his autobiography 'The Breaks Are Off', published two years ago, he doubted teammate Kevin Pietersen's credentials as a captain.

Pietersen was "never the right man to captain England" -- a position the batsman held only briefly before he and former coach Peter Moores lost their jobs at the start of 2009.

Swann is behind only Derek Underwood as England's most prolific wicket-taking spinner with 255 victims in his 60 Tests.

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