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Cutting it Short of a Swansong – Graeme Swann Retires

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Just over a 100 days ago, Graeme Swann was part of an English bowling attack that aggressively dismantled the Australian batting order on their way to a third straight Ashes series victory. He was the viper, flighting the ball up and presenting it to the batsman outside off stump on a beautiful line, asking questions of the left handers with every ball leaving them guessing as his venomous deliveries slowly built up to their dismissal…
Fast forward to the present and Swann has been a shadow of his former self, taking just 7 wickets at a devastating average of 80 in the past three test matches where England have been thoroughly outclassed, outplayed and demoralised. Many will tell you that Swann doesn’t play well in Australia, which is partly truth, however in 2010/11 he still managed to take 15 wickets in the series albeit at an average of 40 but took 7 scalps in Adelaide. This series has been very different, the Australian batsman have finally been able to execute their long term action plan for Swann, taking the fight to the off spinner and have literally smashed him out of the attack, characterised by Shane Watson’s dismantling of the off-spinner early on day 4 in Perth, taking 36 off Swann’s first two overs.

The bottom line is that Graeme Swann has now retired from all forms of International and First Class cricket effective immediately making himself unavailable for the final Ashes tests of the series in Melbourne and Sydney. Swann wrote in his regular column for the Sun that; “I came to Australia in the hope of winning our fourth Ashes series on the trot but that’s now impossible…So it’s time for someone else to buckle in and enjoy the ride.” Swann went onto describe his decision to retire as “very difficult seeing as the England team has been my family for seven years now, but I feel that now is the right time to step down.”
This ends a successful five year International test match career where Swann has taken 255 wickets at an average of just a tick below 30.

His career will most likely be remembered as being an integral part of the bowling attack in one of the greatest English test match sides ever assembled which conquered Australia and defended the Ashes for three series between 2009 and 2013. Moreover it’s hard to forget Swann’s quirky sense of humour in his YouTube video diaries and that he was one of the initiators of the now infamous ‘sprinkler’ dance in celebration…

Nevertheless, England have now lost one of their strike weapons that helped carry them to world test match dominance and in the immediate future it looks as though Monty Panesar will be England’s first choice spinner for the rest of the series. Nevertheless, I believe that Swann still had much to offer, especially on English wickets considering how good he was a few months ago, however now may be the right time for the team to rejuvenate and find a young spinner who can gain experience before the 2015 Ashes and World Cup. All in all, it seems as though this Ashes series loss may have triggered this regeneration of English Cricket as former coach David Lloyd predicts more retirements to come this series…

 

Published with permissions from http://themaidenover.blogspot.com.au/

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Rohit Gola

    December 22, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    I will miss Swann. One of those conventional spinners.

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