Swann quits international cricket mid-Ashes


England spin bowler Graeme Swann has retired from international and first-class cricket with immediate effect.

England spin bowler Graeme Swann has retired from international and first-class cricket with immediate effect.

Swann, consequently, will not play in the final two Ashes fixtures at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Sydney Cricket Ground – and ends a 60-Test career with 255 wickets at the impressive average of 29.96.

The closing throes of the 34-year-old's stay in international cricket, however, have been lined with a lack of success. England have slipped to a three-nil series defeat in Australia, where Swann has managed a mere seven wickets in three matches at the poor aggregate of 80.00.

"When I came out on this trip I half expected it to be my last tour for England.I was desperately hoping to win the Ashes out here again like we did in 2010-11 but with the Ashes gone now in those three Test matches, personally I think to stay on and selfishly play just to experience another Boxing Day Test match and another Sydney Test match would be wrong," said Swann.

"It would be wrong for the team, wrong for me as well. It's time for someone else to strap themselves in and enjoy the ride like I have done. It's time for England to rebuild and refocus on winning back these big series. Me hanging around with the decision already made in my head wouldn't be right.

"My body doesn't like playing the long forms of cricket. My arm doesn't cope very well with bowling 30 or 40 overs in the first innings and then repeating it in the second innings a day later anymore. I could feel my performances tapering off in the back end of games and I wasn't happy with that. I'm not willing to just hang on and get by being a bit-part player. I want to be a guy who wins matches for England, and I don't feel I was doing that in the second innings anymore.

"It is disappointing. At the end of The Oval Test match last year, I think why didn't I just stop then? I knew more or less that the time was coming up. But then I'd never forgive myself. We had the chance of coming out here and potentially winning four Ashes series on the bounce. I'd never have forgiven myself had I not come out here and given it a crack."

Left-armer Monty Pansesar is likely to be drafted into the XI in the absence of Swann, with leg-spinner Scott Borthwick suggested as a longer-term replacement. Borthwick has been capped twice in ODI cricket and has earned one Twenty20 International, but is yet to make a Test match debut.

"I think Monty's going to come in and do a great job in this game coming up this week. Whoever ends up taking the role full-time I think they'll do a great job as well. Personally I hope little Borthwick gets a chance before long. He's a leg-spinner with a bit of x-factor and he can bat as well. Despite supporting Manchester City and Sunderland, two of the worst teams in England, he is a good guy," added Swann.

Swann also played 79 ODIs, debuting at the age of 20 years old against South Africa in Bloemfontein in 2000. He was an integral member of the World Twenty20-winning squad in the West Indies in 2010 – and in 2011 topped the International Cricket Council's rankings for T20I bowlers.

"Graeme has made an outstanding contribution to the England cricket team in all formats throughout an incredibly successful career and I would like to congratulate him on all that he has achieved. His commitment, competitive spirit and sense of humour have been recognised and admired by team-mates and supporters alike and he has played a big part in England's success over the last five years. The dressing room will be a very different place without Graeme's unique personality and I would like to wish him all the very best for the future," concluded coach Andy Flower.