Ashes 2013-14: Kevin Pietersen has 'less than zero interest' in Graeme Swann's remark about people being 'up their own backsides'

The retiring spin bowler appeared to aim a parting shot - although at exactly who is somewhat unclear

Kevin Pietersen has “less than zero interest” in Graeme Swann's parting shot about arrogant Test cricketers.

Swann has been at pains to make it abundantly clear, having failed to do so in his retirement press conference on Sunday, that he was not referring to any of the current England team when he bemoaned the attitude of players who are "up their own backsides".

Swann's remarks were initially and widely interpreted to be aimed at Pietersen, with whom he has not always historically had the easiest relationship.

After Swann's clarification, first on Twitter and then in his Sun column, it is understood he was talking about Test opponents rather than colleagues.

Pietersen nonetheless, inevitably, faced a succession of questions about Swann's remarks when he too spoke to the press on Christmas Eve.

One query about Swann's elderly grandma's belief that "nasty" Australians have hastened the off-spinner's retirement left Pietersen especially bemused.

In answer, he spelled out his antipathy for all topics emanating from Swann's surprise decision to call time on his career in the middle of an Ashes series already lost.

"My interest levels in yesterday are less than zero," Pietersen said. "I've got no interest, no interest."

He was speaking shortly after the publication of Swann's newspaper column, in which he wrote: "I wasn't talking about Kevin Pietersen or any England player when I made comments during my retirement press conference.

"Kev and I have had a very good working relationship, and his reintegration back into the team has been spot on.

"The truth is I was talking about other players around the world who don't carry themselves in a manner I think is befitting of wearing an international shirt.

"With hindsight, I should have clarified there and then that I wasn't talking about England players, rather than leaving it hanging in the air."

For the record, Swann stressed that he believes the behaviour of Pietersen - certainly since he returned to the England fold after his contract wrangles and other controversies in 2012 - and his other former team-mates is exemplary.

"There is no way I would think any England players are up their own backsides.

"They handle themselves superbly."

Pietersen, in any case, insists that an accusation of arrogance hardly measures up to the insults he expects to come his way again from the home crowd in the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.

"You should come and field with me on Thursday or Friday, come and see what I get called on the boundary.

"There's a lot worse things I've been called."

Neither is he worried about former England batsman Geoff Boycott's contention that he should be dropped for batting like a "mug" so far this winter.

Where Pietersen is famed for his attacking intent, stoic opener Boycott was once dropped himself for slow scoring despite making a double-century.

"I have the greatest admiration for Geoffrey Boycott, what he achieved for England," Pietersen said.

"But I think the way Geoffrey played and the way I play are totally different."

He did manage a minor endorsement of Swann's unexpected decision to retire, with the Ashes gone and having bowled well below his best while Australia established an unassailable 3-0 lead with two Tests to play.

"Everybody makes decisions," Pietersen said. "He's a 34-year-old grown man. He's had a fantastic career for England, (and) it gives Monty Panesar an incredible opportunity to become a great bowler."

Pietersen is one year Swann's junior, but this winter's Ashes debacle has not sapped any of his resolve to carry on in pursuit of 10,000 Test runs - he has 8052 at present - and towards another Ashes and World Cup in 2015.

"I don't understand why you guys talk about everybody in the same light," he said. "I'm 33 years of age; I'm batting as well as I've ever batted.

"I'll retire when I can't get up to play for England. I'm as good as gold at the moment."

He has been more frustrated than anyone with his failure to make a significant contribution in the last three Tests.

"I've got myself in every single time," he said. "I felt like a clown in Adelaide - when I hit that ball to midwicket off Siddle - I just didn't feel good at the crease at all.

"Some days you have them. Every other time I've batted on this trip, I've felt really, really good."

In an increasingly tetchy exchange, he added: "A couple of times I've got out, and a couple of other times fortune didn't favour the brave.

"It's just a case of making sure I keep doing what I do, because it's proved successful.

"Of course it annoys me - but you guys write that it doesn't annoy me, and I'm totally cool with it!"

:: Stuart Broad was able to bowl in the MCG nets on Tuesday, for the first time since being hit on the right foot by a Mitchell Johnson yorker in Perth. England still hope the seamer will be fully fit again in time to play on Boxing Day.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
A boy holds a chick during the Russian National Agricultural Exhibition Golden Autumn 2014 in Moscow on October 9, 2014.
news
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
News
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
people
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
News
i100
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot