Recently-retired England spinner Graeme Swann has attacked "some low forms of journalism" for "preying" on his 90-year-old grandmother.
Mina Swann's comments to Newcastle's Journal newspaper were widely quoted in the English and Australian media.
England batsman Kevin Pietersen refused to be drawn into the Graeme Swann story on Tuesday and distanced himself from speculation suggesting the retired bowler's team-mate remarks were referring to him.
"I'm not giving any energy to what happened yesterday," he said at a press conference ahead of the fourth Ashes Test in Melbourne.
"The only energy that I've got on this tour left in me is for Melbourne on the 26th, training today, training tomorrow and Sydney.
"My interest levels in yesterday are less than zero."
Sky Sports Cricket broadcaster Ian Ward has tweeted that former England spin bowler Graeme Swann was not talking about his team-mates in recent remarks criticising international cricketers.
Ward conducted an interview with Swann on Tuesday.
Retiring off-spinner Graeme Swann has stressed he was not talking about Kevin Pietersen - or any of his former England team-mates - when he described certain players as "up their own backsides".
Swann, who announced his retirement from all forms of cricket over the weekend with immediate effect, was careful to name no names when he used the description, but it was widely interpreted as being about players in the England team.
With media and former players pondering who he could have been referring to, the 34-year-old replied via Twitter to one of them - 2005 Ashes-winning captain Michael Vaughan - to correct the misconception, and on Christmas Eve further clarified his views in his column in The Sun.
Swann wrote: "I wasn't talking about Kevin Pietersen or any England player when I made comments during my retirement press conference.
"Myself and Kev 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."
The grandmother of Graeme Swann has blamed the England spin bowler's sudden retirement from Test cricket on a "certain" Australian player, claiming something "nasty" must have happened.
Speaking to The Journal in Newcastle, Mina Swann, 89, said the home side must not have made England feel welcome.
"There is something gone wrong there and I blame the Australian players. Not all the Australian players, a certain one," she said.
“When the team went down to Australia and that young lad came back, there was something going wrong then."
She added: "I do not think they have been (made) very welcome, the team. He is not easily upset, there is something nasty happened.”
Graeme Swann has told his former England captain not to "jump to conclusions" after Michael Vaughan claimed Swann's post-retirement comments were a mistake.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan said he agrees with former team mate Graeme Swann that "some players are getting ahead of themselves", but inferred the timing of his comments was a mistake.
Graeme Swann has attempted to distance himself from a report in The Telegraph which alleged the retiring cricketer had made a "barely disguised swipe" at his fellow English cricketers.
Swann took aim at the journalist who wrote the story, saying "making stuff up sells papers I suppose".
The spin bowler announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on Sunday with two Ashes Tests still remaining in the series Down Under.
During a press conference at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Swann said: “It will bite them on the a--e one day and when it does I hope they look back and are embarrassed about how they carry on.”
Cricket fans have reacted with a mixture of tributes and shock to the snap retirement of spin bowler Graeme Swann, who was seen as the team's 'joker'.
Swann featured heavily in the England cricket team's tongue-in-cheek good luck video to the British & Irish Lions rugby team in June before their tour of Australia, giving an impression of the Lions coach, New Zealander Warren Gatland.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan tweeted that Swann had been "a brilliant character" and commentator Jonathan Agnew said Swann had been "an outstanding performer". But Piers Morgan reacted with disbelief, tweeting: "What? Swann's quit too, before the series is even finished?".