Graeme Swann has apologised for "crass and thoughtless" comments made via social media in which he compared England's Ashes defeat to rape.

England off-spinner Swann replied on his brother and former Northamptonshire team-mate Alec's Facebook page, after England lost the Ashes, telling him he would rather have been back home at a pop concert with him than "being a***-raped in Perth" by Australia.

Alec's profile is not private, and therefore is openly accessible.

After the comment became public knowledge, Swann tweeted: "Sorry to anyone who was offended by my comments in the papers today. Crass and thoughtless of me in the extreme."

The apology followed heavy criticism from Yvonne Traynor, chief executive of the charity Rape Crisis.

"We are appalled that Graeme Swann equates a cricket match with the devastatingly serious crime of rape," she told various newspapers.

"It is the duty of a people in the public eye to make sure their own distorted views are kept to themselves and not shared with the general public.

"These comments lack compassion and intelligence, and he should apologise to anyone who has suffered from this heinous crime."