England players apologise for peeing on Oval pitch

London, Aug 28 (IANS) England cricketers Wednesday issued an apology in the wake of their controversial celebrations of the Ashes victory against Australia.

The apology comes after Australian journalists claimed that members of the English team urinated on the Oval pitch while celebrating their 3-0 series win after the fifth and final Test ended in a dramatic draw Sunday.

"The England cricket team would like to state that during our celebrations after winning the Ashes at no time was there any intention to disrespect Surrey CCC, the Oval or anyone else involved in the game we love," the statement on the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) website read.

"As a team we pride ourselves on respecting all things cricket including the opposition and the grounds we play at. We got carried away amongst the euphoria of winning such a prestigious series and accept that some of our behaviour was inappropriate.

"If that has caused any offence to anyone we apologise for that and want to reassure people that it was a simple error of judgement more than anything else," the statement added.

Spinner Graeme Swann acknowledged the incident in his newspaper column.

"We did go out to the middle of the pitch, all the lads, drinking beers, singing a few songs and enjoying each other's company," Swann wrote in The Sun.

"I think the call of nature might have come once or twice but it was nothing untoward.

"It was midnight, a private celebration in the middle of the pitch and the ground was dark," he said.

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