Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

England's Pietersen shrugs off Swann's Test remarks

Silent: Kevin Pietersen isn't interested in Graeme Swann

England's 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 daily newspaper 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 spoke to the press.

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 shock decision to call time on his career in the middle of an Ashes series already lost.

"My interest levels in all that 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.

"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."

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