Australia pace bowler Nathan Bracken has apologised to England's bowlers after his comments that a mint had helped create their reverse swing bowling tactics.

Australia's batsmen were baffled by the way England's bowlers, particularly Andrew Flintoff and Simon Jones, made the ball reverse swing in the Ashes series which England won 2-1.

Bracken, who will be joining Worcestershire next summer, had suggested in a interview on Wednesday that players in England used a certain type of mint that sweetened their saliva which, when rubbed on the ball, aided reverse swing bowling.

Yesterday, though, Bracken insisted he had only been joking and apologised to England's bowlers, in particular Jones who had rubbished the claims.

"I thought it'd come across as a joke and it's come across the wrong way," Bracken said.

"I apologise to Simon Jones . . . we're making every effort at the moment to get in contact with him and basically just settle things out so everything's perfectly fine and then definitely make sure no offence was taken."

Jones had earlier reacted with disappointment.

"It's probably just sour grapes and are you telling me that they've not done it?" said Jones. "What's happened on the field, happened on the field and I can't believe he's made that comment."

Reverse swing, the ability to swing an old cricket ball in the opposite direction to that expected by batsmen, has puzzled the cricket world for decades. Most theories on how to achieve it were based on suspicion and claims it was done illegally.

Players are allowed to apply sweat and saliva to polish the ball but the use of mints and sweets to aid reverse swing has littered county and international cricket for decades to varied amounts of success.