England skipper Michael Vaughan has apologised to Indian pacer Zaheer Khan for the jelly bean prank during the second cricket Test at Nottingham but insisted that the incident had been blown out of proportion.
"I guess one of the guys might have left them as a prank for the new
batsmen. If that offended Zaheer, I apologise," Vaughan was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph.
Vaughan, however, refuted Zaheer's claims that the jelly beans had been thrown by the slip fielders to insult him.
"We weren't throwing jelly beans from the slip cordon. Two jelly beans were left on the floor by the stumps during the drinks interval when the wicket fell," he said.
"The game was played in a tough manner, and there were probably instances that may have gone over the line," he added.
Reacting to the incident, England coach Peter Moores said the hosts' on-field behaviour did get a bit 'out of hand'.
India won the ill-tempered match, in which pacer S Sreesanth was fined 50 per cent of his match fee for indiscipline, by seven wickets to record only their fifth victory on English soil.
Moores, however, rubbished suggestions that the incident would have any bearing on the teams' relations off the field.
"The teams seem fine. Everything that happened on the field has been left there. At times it overspilled and if it didn't it would be a bit bland," he said.
Zaheer had said that the 'insulting' prank had fired him up to bowl with vengeance resulting in the match-winning five-wicket spell in the second innings, which also earned him the Man of the Match award.
However, Vaughan felt Zaheer's performance could not be linked to the episode as he had bowled well even in the first innings.
"Zaheer bowled pretty well in the first innings as well, and at Lord's. I don't think any of this was a huge inspiration for him, or the reason we lost the game. We just didn't apply ourselves with the bat," he explained.
Meanwhile, match referee Ranjan Madugalle has called on the two teams to exercise restraint.
Madugalle felt the two captains should take the responsibility as their attitudes 'cascade down to the rest of the team'.