Melbourne: Graeme Swann has denied that his comments upon announcing his retirement from Test cricket were a criticism of his England teammates. Swann surprisingly announced on Sunday that he had decided to immediately retire despite there still being two Tests left in the ongoing Ashes series, which had already been won by Australia.
In comments to English reporters Swann said "some people playing the game at the minute have no idea how far up their own backsides they are. 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."
Swann has since said he was not referring to any current members of the England team. Former England cricketers Michael Vaughan and Derek Pringle, now both working in the media, were among those who questioned what they saw as Swann's decision to publicly raise reservations about his teammates.
On Twitter, former England captain Vaughan said "this tour for England was already a disaster.... Now it's a bloody joke. "As a respected senior player in the dressing room Swannyg66 why didn't you sort players out who got too big for themselves?"
Swann also used Twitter to respond, saying his comments were not directed at current England players.
"Don't jump to conclusions Vaughney," he said. "I wasn't talking about the England dressing room or anyone in it. You too bbc."
Swann directly attacked Pringle, saying "just because Derek Pringle writes something I find it astonishing that people buy into it?! Making stuff up sells papers I suppose."
Pringle replied "Swann could have made it clear that he was not talking about England but didn't."
Swann's use of the term "people playing the game at the minute" led to speculation that his comments related to current England players.
Former Australian leg spinner Shane Warne quickly placed himself in Swann's corner, suggesting he had made the comments in the hope of firing up an England team facing a 5-0 series defeat.
"It's an emotional time for Graeme," Warne said. "And hopefully that was a way to lift the guys and say 'come on, pull your heads out and let's finish the tour on a high'."
Spinner Monty Panesar, who will take Swann's place in the England lineup for the Boxing Day Test, defended his former teammate.
"We know Swanny, we know where his heart is - he's right behind us and we're right behind him," Panesar said.
Meanwhile, the England selectors announced Durham leg-spinner Scott Borthwick and Kent off-spinner James Tredwell have been added to the squad following Swann's retirement.
Borthwick was due to arrive into Melbourne on Monday and will be available for selection for the Test beginning on Boxing Day. Tredwell will arrive in Melbourne during the fourth Test and will be available for the final Test at Sydney from January 3.