Stuart Broad and James Anderson, the two England bowlers at the centre of the recent ball-tampering controversy, have steadfastly defended their actions during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.

TV pictures showed Broad standing on the ball while Anderson was seen picking at the leather which led South Africa to "raise concerns" about the condition of the ball. However, the home side didn't take their complaint forward to official levels which prompted Andrew Strauss to call it "malicious" and England coach Andy Flower said if they'd had a problem it should have been raised in the formal way.

Broad has now said he took "great offence" at being implicated by the South Africans and wasn't impressed with the way they announced their concerns through a press conference.

"I find it astonishing that South Africa should walk into a press conference and say they had raised concerns about the condition of the ball and then not follow that up by making a formal complaint. That is very poor behaviour," he told the Daily Mail

"My actions in stopping the ball with my boot have been questioned but I am not the first bowler to stop a ball with his size 12s and I will not be the last.

"It was close to 40 degrees Celsius out there in Newlands at the time, and, if I was guilty of anything, it was just laziness in not bending down to pick up the ball. Ball-tampering? That's astonishing."

Former England captain Michael Vaughan was critical of England's part in the controversy, but Anderson is disappointed that he wasn't more supportive of players he led until 18 months ago. Anderson said he and Broad were nothing more than "a bit absent-minded and lazy."

"To be caught up in suggestions of ball-tampering was a huge disappointment," he told the Daily Mirror. "It led to a lot of comment and cast a shadow over me and Stuart Broad when we'd done nothing wrong except be a bit absent-minded and lazy.

"I know my old England captain Michael Vaughan is entitled to his opinion but I was a little bit hurt by some of the comments he made about me, because I'd like to think he knew me well enough to know I wouldn't do something like that.

"I've got a lot of respect for Vaughany as a team-mate and as a captain and I learnt an awful lot under his wing in the England side so he knows the sort of player I am."

South Africa's concerns over the ball stemmed from the fact that England have managed to find early reverse-swing during this series - often by the 15th over - while the hosts haven't had the same success. However, Broad said that instead of casting doubts over what the bowlers are doing they should be praised for their skill.

"Not too long ago, people were asking why English bowlers could not take wickets overseas on flat pitches with the old ball," he said, "but what someone like Jimmy has done is become highly skilled at the difficult art of reverse-swing and all people can do is question that."