(CNN) -- It is the strange "tail" of Graeme Swann, his cat and a brush with the law that has made the England cricket team "paws" for thought before trash talking each other on Twitter.
Swann, the world's top ranked spin bowler, appeared in court earlier this week charged with a drink-driving offence and it is the details that emerged during the hearing that provoked such mirth in England's dressing room.
Nottingham magistrates court heard how the 31-year-old told police officers he had been to buy a screwdriver so he could release his cat who was trapped under the floorboards of his home.
The trial was adjourned until October, but after the England team arrived in London to begin training ahead of the third Test with Pakistan, two of Swann's teammates joked about the affair on their Twitter accounts.
Kevin Pietersen, England's flamboyant batsman, who was born and raised in South Africa, posted: "2 hours with @Swannyg66 [Swann] this am and I'm still not having this 'cat' story!! Haha."
A short time after, Swann updated his account by tweeting: "Such a shame my teammates are so remedial in their 'banter'. Must be because they're all south African..."
Fast bowler Jimmy Anderson, who has nearly 55,000 followers on Twitter, got in on the act too. He tweeted: "Swanny has turned up this morning with a tag round his ankle. Not sure what that's for."
The players may have enjoyed their online banter but on the pitch England toiled on the opening day of the third Test against Pakistan at the Oval.
England won the toss and chose to bat, hoping to add to their 2-0 series lead, but were dismissed for just 233 as Wahab Riaz took five wickets on his Test debut.
Opening batsman Alastair Cook's miserable run of form continued as he was dismissed by Mohammad Asif for just six.
Captain Andrew Strauss was Riaz's first victim as he was caught behind by Kamran Akmal for just 15, before the pace bowler went on to claim the scalps of Jonathan Trott, Pietersen, Eoin Morgan and Stuart Broad.
Wicketkeeper Matt Prior gave England's total some respectability with a forceful 84 not out and he was ably assisted by Broad, who made 48.
Saeed Ajmal trapped England's last batsman, Steve Finn, LBW as Pakistan dismissed the hosts with more than an hour's play remaining.
Imran Farhat and Yasir Hameed started Pakistan's reply strongly, adding 48, before Farhat was bowled by Anderson in the final over of the day.