Cape Town:England captain Andrew Strauss has said that he believed South Africa's claims about ball tampering during the third Test at Newlands were 'malicious'.
The South Africans made it known they had drawn the attention of match referee Roshan Mahanama to an alleged changing of the condition of the ball but did not make an official complaint.
The umpires viewed footage which showed fast bowler Stuart Broad stepping on the ball and James Anderson running his fingers down the seam but decided to take no action.
"We're not particularly happy about it and I strongly refute the allegations," Strauss said on Thursday.
"I really don't feel there was any concerted effort on behalf of any of our players to alter the state of the ball. I appreciate that some of that footage didn't look amazingly good but I don't think it was malicious.
"I think to a certain extent the South Africans announcing it to the media without being totally clear in their minds what they were going to do, whether they were going to put in a formal complaint, was a little bit malicious.
"Ball tampering is a very sensitive subject and if you're going to make allegations you have to be very clear or confident about exactly what the other team are doing."
England held out to draw the third Test ensuring that they cannot lose the series -- the fourth and final test begins next Thursday in Johannesburg.