Cardiff: James Anderson has insisted that allegations of ball-tampering levelled against England by former captain Bob Willis are "very disappointing" and definitely untrue. England limited overs coach Ashley Giles refuted on Saturday the claims made by Willis, now a television pundit, who alleged the side were obtaining reverse swing by methods banned under cricket's laws.
"As a team we're really surprised by his comments," England seamer Anderson told the Mail on Sunday. "Even though there's nothing to them whatsoever they could stick for a while to us, which isn't wanted, needed or helpful. It's come as a very unwelcome distraction and, frankly, we could do without allegations such as these."
Willis's allegations dominated the build-up to England's key Champions Trophy match against New Zealand in Cardiff on Sunday, where victory for either side will see them through to the semi-finals.
Anderson, who recently joined former fast bowler Willis as one of only four England cricketers to have taken 300 Test wickets, added: "It's very disappointing and frustrating that anyone, but especially a former England captain, should say these things, especially when we're preparing for a massive game.
"The fact is people can think what they like. We know the truth, I can state categorically that no one in the England team has ever tampered with a ball and we won't allow comments made by someone like Bob Willis to worry us."
And he insisted England were doing nothing against the rules.
"Reverse swing has been an issue in cricket for a while," he said. "But just because one bowler or one team reverse a ball better than another on a given day doesn't mean to say he or they have been tampering.
"It just means they're more skilful. I can assure you that if any of the England bowlers achieve it then it is within the letter of the laws."