UK & World News

  • 22 December 2013, 12:38

Graeme Swann: England Spinner Quits Cricket

England spinner Graeme Swann has stunned the cricketing world by announcing his retirement from the game with immediate effect.

One of England's greatest ever spin bowlers, the 34-year-old Nottinghamshire man is to stay in Australia with his family but will not play in either of the final two Ashes Tests.

England have already lost the series, having been convincingly defeated in the first three Tests, and Swann has not been as effective as usual, taking seven wickets at a cost of 80 as the Australian batsmen have sought to attack him.

However, he boasts a superb overall record in Tests, having captured 255 wickets in 60 matches, the most ever by an England off-spinner.

Swann said: "I know people will be surprised by the suddenness of the decision and the fact that I'm making myself unavailable for the final two Tests of the Ashes series.

"I'd hoped that, when we walked out for the fifth Test in Sydney on January 3, it would have been with a chance of winning or retaining the Ashes. But that has gone now."

Swann retires having been an integral part of three Ashes-winning teams, an England side which was ranked the best Test team in the world at one point, and another which won the World T20 tournament in 2010.

"It couldn't have been much better and I couldn't be any more proud," he said.

Swann told the Sun On Sunday he had been considering retirement for a while.

"When I left home back in October, I thought this might be my last tour for England," he said.

"Then, a couple of weeks ago, I looked in the mirror and I knew it would be.

"People always say that sportsmen instinctively know when the time is right to retire and I had that exact feeling during the Adelaide Test.

"So now, with the series beyond our reach, I have just brought forward the decision by a couple of matches."

Swann, who began his career with Northamptonshire, moved on to Nottinghamshire and helped them to win the County Championship in 2005, before making his England Test debut against India in Chennai in December 2008.

Nottinghamshire Director of Cricket Mick Newell said: "Swanny has been a dominant performer in Test cricket for six years and it will leave a huge gap in the England team, because there is no outstanding spinner quite ready to fill the place that he will leave.

"I'd imagine that coaching would be far too mundane for him but he'll always be welcome at Trent Bridge.

"I expect that we'll see him launch a media career and I'm sure he'll be very successful."

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