Ashes 2013: England players apologise and admit 'our behaviour was inappropriate' amid allegations some urinated on Oval pitch

An Australian journalist reported seeing them take turns to urinate as they celebrated out on the pitch

The England team have apologised for any offence caused during the celebrations of their Ashes series win at the Kia Oval on Sunday.

Some of England's players are alleged to have urinated on the pitch hours after the series ended on Sunday night.

And in a statement released on the England and Wales Cricket Board's website, the team have now apologised if any of their actions may have caused offence.

"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 http://www.ecb.co.uk 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 allegations arose following eye-witness accounts from Australian journalists, who were still in the ground while England celebrated their 3-0 series win in the middle.

Reports have since indicated the ECB has launched an investigation into the matter after being contacted by Surrey chief executive Richard Gould.

Sports minister Hugh Robertson has even been drawn in to making comment, telling the Daily Telegraph: "If it happened, it's not good behaviour."

Off-spinner Graeme Swann appeared to confirm the story when writing in Tuesday's Sun newspaper, but attempted to play it down.

"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," he wrote.

"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."

The furore is the latest incident involving England and the Australians this summer to have cast a shadow over the tourists' visit.

In June, England opening batsman Joe Root was punched by Australian counterpart David Warner in the Walkabout bar in Birmingham, with the latter being suspended by the Baggy Green.

The Australia batsman made a public apology to Root and was sent to tour with Australia 'A' before returning to the fold for the third Test.

And earlier this month Sussex launched an investigation after England spinner Monty Panesar was given a fixed penalty notice for being "drunk and disorderly" following an incident at a Brighton nightclub.

The 31-year-old was ejected from the Shooshh club in Brighton, East Sussex and then urinated in public.

He had been part of the England squad that drew the third Test at Old Trafford to retain the urn, although he did not play, and has since left Sussex to join Essex on loan.

PA

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