REUTERS - Former England off-spinner Graeme Swann, who made a shock decision to quit all forms of cricket on Sunday, has denied his criticism of arrogant international players was aimed at his team mates.
When announcing his retirement three tests into the five-match Ashes series against Australia, the 34-year-old said there were "some people playing the game at the minute (who) have no idea how far up their own backsides they are".
Some interpreted that as a swipe at Kevin Pietersen, but Swann on Tuesday accused the media of adding "two and two and coming up with 55".
Asked in an interview with Sky Sports television if he had been targeting any England players, Swann replied: "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 certainly wasn't having a go at the England team. I find it a real shame 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."
Swann said the message he was trying to get across had been perfectly described by Pietersen recently.
"I think KP summed it up beautifully the other day when we were talking about somebody - I can't even remember who," explained Swann who bowed out of cricket occupying sixth place in England's all-time list of wicket-takers with 255 in 60 tests.
"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.
"Those little comments they make, silly little press conferences, they'll come back and hurt them," added Swann who is likely to be replaced by Monty Panesar in the fourth test against Australia that starts on Thursday.
Australia are 3-0 up in the series and have already secured the Ashes. (Writing by Tony Jimenez; editing by Tim Collings)