England players have apologised for their behaviour, which included allegedly urinating on the Oval pitch, during their Ashes triumph — celebrations on Sunday following the fifth Test.
The incident was witnessed by Australian journalists who were still working at the Oval while England players went into the middle to — celebrate their 3-0 series victory.
The apology was issued in a statement on the England and Wales Cricket Board website and, although it neither confirmed nor denied that players urinated on the pitch, it apologised for any offence caused.
"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 said.
"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 judgment more than anything else."
England's apology was accepted by Surrey chief executive Richard Gould, who had described the players' behaviour as irresponsible. Gould also confirmed that no damage has been caused to the turf at the Oval.
England's Twenty20 captain, Stuart Broad, declined to comment on the watery celebrations or the players' apology when he attended a press conference in Southampton yesterday (Wednesday), ahead of the first of two Twenty20 international matches against Australia today.
Broad was more forthcoming, however, on the lukewarm praise England had received for retaining the Ashes in some sections of the media. "Praise from the media is not something the team is particularly concerned about," he said.
"At the end of the day the hard facts are that we won an Ashes series 3-0 and that was a tough fight and an emotional roller coaster. "Certain games could have been won and lost in half-an-hour spaces and it was fantastic cricket to watch. To have won that 3-0 and to have had an unbelievable chance of winning 4-0 and becoming the first England team to do that was a very special achievement and the guys in the changing room know that.
"Many of the fans know and believe that. The response from people we know and have seen has been fantastic. It's part and parcel in an Ashes series that you get little things written about and talked about that get taken out of proportion but, at the end of the day, fans will certainly remember that we won that series 3-0 and played some fantastic and exciting cricket."
Although England have two Twenty20 internationals and five one-dayers to come against Australia before the end of this season, Broad said thoughts have already turned to the prospect of completing a fourth successive Ashes series win this winter.
"The England changing room are just focused on England beating Australia. My whole childhood was taken up with England getting pumped by Australia so there's such a hunger in the dressing room to keep on beating Australia," Broad said.
"Even since we won the Ashes on Sunday night there's been talk between the guys of how much we want to work hard to win the next one and we can hit -Australia hard in Brisbane.- "We know it will be a different game out there and we know how hard our home crowd have helped us here. So we've got to expect their crowd to help them there. Australia in their conditions will be hard to beat and we will have to play better than we've done here to beat them."