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Graeme Swann Retires from International Cricket

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Post by msp83 Sun 22 Dec 2013, 7:00 am

An already struggling England received another jolt today as Graeme Swann, one of the most successful spinners in the history of English cricket made a retirement announcement mid series.
Swann has announced that he won't play the remaining 2 games of the series and the retirement has come into immediate effect. Swann said that he had already known that retirement was not too far away as the body was struggling to meet the demands of a 5 day game. But he wanted to contribute to a 4th successive Ashes win, and now that the series is gone, there is no point playing on.
http://www.espncricinfo.com/the-ashes-2013-14/content/current/story/702897.html

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 22 Dec 2013, 7:23 am

To be fair I think it is a wise decision at the right time. I think a number of things have probably played their part in the sudden decision. Firstly, he knows, as we all do, that he has not bowled well in this series and perhaps he just feels the body is no longer willing especially since recent injuries that required surgery. Secondly, his recent faux pas on Facebook where he had to make an apology probably has a bad taste in his mouth, Thirdly, and this is sheer supposition, I would presume the management would have had their meeting with the players post-Ashes loss and maybe a few things came out of that which also influenced his decision.

If it hadn't been now I am pretty sure his retirement was on the cards before the next Ashes series. He has been a great servant and will go down as one of the best spinners England have ever produced.
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Post by msp83 Sun 22 Dec 2013, 7:24 am

He has had a very difficult series downunder, but takes nothing away from Swann, all the achievements in his career, more than 250 test wickets, more than a hundred ODI wickets, 3 time Ashes winner who played a very important role in all the wins, and a very effective role in England's only global title win.
Farewell, Swanny

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 22 Dec 2013, 7:37 am

Indeed. It is just a shame he couldn't quite make it into that hallowed and exclusive 300+ Test wickets for England club. He has been a very important cog in England's successful test team in the last few years and he can look back with some great memories.
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Post by msp83 Sun 22 Dec 2013, 7:42 am

I was hoping Swann's body would hold up for a while longer. Spinners can play on to their late 30s but not to be.......
The big question for England is who after Swann.
Monty Panesar remains the 2nd best spinner in England by some way and I think he can do a fair enough job with the test side. Swann himself mentioned Scott Borthwick as someone who could add significantly with his all-round skills. But 110 wickets from 59 First Class games is not a stat that demands 'Pick Me'. In the near future, England might go in with Monty in tests and James Tredwell in limited overs. But they both are not really young and are not quite in Swann's league though they both are good bowlers.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 22 Dec 2013, 7:52 am

Well a replacement will be hard to find - no doubt. However, Swann has not been at the top of his form for some time now and for all we know he may never have returned to that point. The worry I posted on the other thread was that I felt England may enter a vacuum similar to the one Australia were in (losing key players who they couldn't replace) and Swann falls into that category.
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Post by msp83 Sun 22 Dec 2013, 8:01 am

Swann was the top wickettaker from either side in the last Ashes and early this year, he made his return to test cricket after injury with a 10for and a Man of the Match performance against New Zealand. Its only in this series that he has struggled real bad.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 22 Dec 2013, 8:09 am

Ah yes mistaking his form with seamers who toiled. I do think he sees this as an ideal time. Rumours were afoot that it would be his last tour in any case so if he has been told he won't be playing in Melbourne he felt now was the right time.
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Post by Born Slippy Sun 22 Dec 2013, 8:14 am

A real problem for England. I thought he might go on to at least the next home Ashes. There is no spinner close to him and his slip fielding and useful lower order runs will also be missed. Great career but this tour just gets worse and worse.


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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 22 Dec 2013, 8:15 am

Also he does refer to his body not being up to the rigours of five days of cricket any more and it is a full retirement from cricket.
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Post by KP_fan Sun 22 Dec 2013, 9:16 am

Buckled under the Aussie  pressure is how the world will see it.

and obvious dressing room disagreements with captain or coach would be interpreted as the reason for leaving the tour in a huff and putting the beleaguered team under further pressure.

If I was him I would have waited until the finish of tour to announce retirement to avoid more drama and pressure on the team in the midst of tour....a bit too self centered approach from him.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 22 Dec 2013, 9:24 am

Why not just celebrate a great test career ending without the pathetic digs eh KP_Fan?
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Post by KP_fan Sun 22 Dec 2013, 9:28 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:Why not just celebrate a great test career ending without the pathetic digs eh KP_Fan?

where is the pathetic dig ??
Swann is being critiqued for his actions...... he does not get immunity because he has retired.

self centered and detrimental to team's interest his action and the timing of it is.
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Post by KP_fan Sun 22 Dec 2013, 9:32 am

Trott, Swann gone.......Prior alos probably.....KP about to be pushed...Cook has turned into jelly.

it's been rather brittle dsiplay from Eng under adversity
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Post by Pal Joey Sun 22 Dec 2013, 9:38 am

Gracious words from Lehman today but the main message was "well done to him but life goes on... and we're obviously looking to keep the pressure on England". Hint of a smirk there. Mitchell Johnson had a few nice words to say as well when interviewed by Punter and Gil.

Clarke refused to believe a reporter at the airport today. He must have thought it was some sort of wind up and would want to hear it from "the horse's mouth first before making any comment".
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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 22 Dec 2013, 9:51 am

Lehmann has been there and done that so realises indeed life goes on. Wise words. I can see Swann making a good pundit for TV in the future and it wouldn't surprise me if he pursues that route.
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Post by KP_fan Sun 22 Dec 2013, 9:58 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:Lehmann has been there and done that so realises indeed life goes on. Wise words. I can see Swann making a good pundit for TV in the future and it wouldn't surprise me if he pursues that route.

I suspect his a.rse ra.ped comments did not go well with the English cricket establishment.
and hence he  won't be in very near future considered for any ECB roles Is suspect.

any way the TV world would have a big choice of current Eng stars to choose from by the look of things Wink
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Post by Pal Joey Sun 22 Dec 2013, 10:01 am

some silly jokes dong the rounds on twitter

Swanny's Diary entry for:

Last Friday: "We were totally outclassed"
Tuesday: "I got pulverised"
Sunday: "I retired"
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Post by guildfordbat Sun 22 Dec 2013, 10:15 am

KP_fan wrote:

self centered and detrimental to team's interest his action and the timing of it is.

Unusually for me, I'm with KP_fan on this.

It contrasts markedly with the fight and unity of team purpose displayed by Broad in coming out to bat at the end of the last Test. Whilst there was possibly a reckless and dangerous element to that decision, this one by Swann strikes me as selfish with little or no regard for the immediate impact on the team.

I fully accept Caledonian Craig's view that Swann is ''one of the best spinners England have ever produced'' and have said much the same previously. However, at the moment I'm struggling to see past Born Slippy's comment that ''this tour just gets worse and worse''.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 22 Dec 2013, 10:33 am

Guildford bat - his form is nowhere at the moment so hardly seeing him being a loss. By his own admittance he now feels it all a bit too much to put his body through and says for a few months he has felt he has not been able to get same action on the ball towards the end of tests and that he toils to bowl long spells. He doesn't want to carry on knowing he can no longer do himself justice which does him or the team no favours.

On that note it is better he goes sooner rather than later and the selectors get maximum time to look at their options.
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Post by guildfordbat Sun 22 Dec 2013, 10:44 am

Craig - this may be a very old fashioned view but if someone signs up to a tour, then (barring injury or illness) I expect him to see it through. Whilst I have some understanding of the issues affecting Swann and his form, he has failed to do that and his immediate departure leaves the tour in further disarray.

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Post by Duty281 Sun 22 Dec 2013, 10:44 am

Well done Graeme Swann for five years of brilliant Test Cricket for your country. Retiring at the right time too is something that takes guts, so hats off to him for doing that and allowing England to look forward to a replacement right away.

I shall always treasure the good memories of England's greatest spinner of recent times - the two wickets in his first over of Test match cricket against India, THAT ball against Ponting at Edgbaston 2009, the wicket that won the Ashes in 2009, the Ashes in 2010, the sprinkler, the role he played in thrashing India 4-0, those two late wickets against Sri Lanka in 2012, how valuable an asset he was in India last year, and one final Ashes victory last summer.

I did think retirement was around the corner for Swann; it doesn't make it any easier to bear though.

Thank you Graeme Swann. clapclapclap

Now get in the Sky commentary box!

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Post by GSC Sun 22 Dec 2013, 10:48 am

First of all, congrats on a fine career even if it took a while to get going for England.

Not enthused by the timing, does smack a little of cutting your losses and running.

Panesar in tests and Tredwell in ODIs are the way forward I imagine
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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Sun 22 Dec 2013, 10:56 am

I do think there's an element here if th pressure from te back to back series and 12 month build up to that having encouraged ( or forced) guys like swann to stay longer than they really wanted.

This really does show how far down the road of having enough the senior guys in this squad have gone. They play too much international cricket.

Panessar and tredwell are both stop gap options. Both are past 30 themselves and neithe has ever really established themselves as a genuine force for test level. Panessar is not a limited overs player.
They have to concentrate on guys like Briggs or borthwick.

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Post by Duty281 Sun 22 Dec 2013, 11:16 am

Yeah I'd agree with that. It will probably be one of Briggs or Borthwick playing the first test against Sri Lanka in June, not one of Panesar or Tredwell.

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Post by alfie Sun 22 Dec 2013, 11:22 am

guildfordbat wrote:Craig - this may be a very old fashioned view but if someone signs up to a tour, then (barring injury or illness) I expect him to see it through. Whilst I have some understanding of the issues affecting Swann and his form, he has failed to do that and his immediate departure leaves the tour in further disarray.

That was my first thought too , guildford. Sort of like contract breaking...

But we don't know all that was going on. Could be he was suffering more than we realized with the long term effects of his injury , and could see that it wasn't going to get any better. For all we know he discussed it with team management and made his announcement now to let Panesar play without any added pressure from being seen as a controversial choice for Melbourne. If they were not going to play him here then it is arguable that this clean break may be best for the team as well ...they all know where they are now with regard to the spinner role.

I am never keen to judge a man without a bit of knowledge of what is in his head.

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Post by alfie Sun 22 Dec 2013, 11:28 am

Duty281 wrote:Yeah I'd agree with that. It will probably be one of Briggs or Borthwick playing the first test against Sri Lanka in June, not one of Panesar or Tredwell.

Not sure about that , Duty.

Panesar for all his limitations is clearly the best spin option now available. England will first want to win Test matches next summer , and picking a "developing" spinner may not be the first step towards doing that.

Depends , I suppose . If it seems like a seamer's pitch , and the spinner is expected to have a minor role , then just maybe , as a gentle introduction...

But I wouldn't put money on it.

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Post by Duty281 Sun 22 Dec 2013, 11:31 am

alfie wrote:
Duty281 wrote:Yeah I'd agree with that. It will probably be one of Briggs or Borthwick playing the first test against Sri Lanka in June, not one of Panesar or Tredwell.

Not sure about that , Duty.  

Panesar for all his limitations is clearly the best spin option now available.  England will first want to win Test matches next summer , and picking a "developing" spinner may not be the first step towards doing that.

Depends , I suppose .  If it seems like a seamer's pitch , and the spinner is expected to have a minor role , then just maybe , as a gentle introduction...

But I wouldn't put money on it.

I would build for the future straight away, rather than go back to Panesar which, I feel, would be a backward step.

It's not as if Briggs or Borthwick are complete novices of the game (50 and 59 FC games respectively) after all.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 22 Dec 2013, 11:33 am

guildfordbat wrote:Craig - this may be a very old fashioned view but if someone signs up to a tour, then (barring injury or illness) I expect him to see it through. Whilst I have some understanding of the issues affecting Swann and his form, he has failed to do that and his immediate departure leaves the tour in further disarray.

No I can understand that sentiment in an ideal world. However, Swann is making it clear now he doesn't feel up to the rigours of five day cricket any more and even contemplated calling it a day in the summer. In hindsight now he is probably wishing he had. As for the tour being in disarray I don't think his immediate retirement is adding to that. The disarray came on the pitch and if Swann feels his bowing out allows a player more physically and mentally ready for the challenge then surely that is better for the side? In any case in the form he has been in is he really, truthfully such a loss?


Last edited by CaledonianCraig on Sun 22 Dec 2013, 11:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sun 22 Dec 2013, 11:37 am

I'm not sure I buy the detrimental to the team aspect of it all. If he doesn't feel like his body can take it, and his heart isn't in it anymore, what's the point of him playing? I'd rather someone play who wants to rather than feeling like they have to.

If there wasn't an Ashes tour this winter I'm fairly sure he'd have retired after the summer series. He's always said the Ashes motivate him most
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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 22 Dec 2013, 11:40 am

Olly wrote:I'm not sure I buy the detrimental to the team aspect of it all. If he doesn't feel like his body can take it, and his heart isn't in it anymore, what's the point of him playing? I'd rather someone play who wants to rather than feeling like they have to.

If there wasn't an Ashes tour this winter I'm fairly sure he'd have retired after the summer series. He's always said the Ashes motivate him most

Spot on Olly. And Swann said in his press conference much the same that he didn't want to continue knowing he couldn't do himself justice - an honest appraisal I would say.
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Post by VTR Sun 22 Dec 2013, 12:40 pm

Well I'm going to ignore the wider part of the debate here and just say congratulations to Swanny on an excellent career for England where he has won us countless matches over the last few years in all formats.

A world class player, the best England spinner since the 70's, going to be impossible to replace in the short-term and maybe even longer.

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Post by alfie Sun 22 Dec 2013, 12:56 pm

I don't think anyone would argue with that , VTR.

The odd thing , perhaps , is that he seemed so in command of his game just three months ago , when he enjoyed a fine return from injury and a highly successful home summer. It seems strange that it went downhill so fast.
Of course the Australian conditions were always going to be less helpful : but in truth he has been strangely off his game all tour - poor in the warm ups , from all accounts ; and unable to supply the needed support to the pace bowlers when they had Australia under the cosh in Brisbane...
He has continued to field well , but his batting has vanished along with the wickets he normally takes , as his confidence has apparently slipped away.

I think he has probably done the right thing. A pity it ended this way ; but even if he could have regained his mojo in the summer and gone on a little longer , he clearly felt he was unlikely to be a consistently reliable performer in the future. So as he says , better to step aside now and give someone else a chance...

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Post by guildfordbat Sun 22 Dec 2013, 1:04 pm

alfie wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:Craig - this may be a very old fashioned view but if someone signs up to a tour, then (barring injury or illness) I expect him to see it through. Whilst I have some understanding of the issues affecting Swann and his form, he has failed to do that and his immediate departure leaves the tour in further disarray.

That was my first thought too , guildford.  Sort of like contract breaking...

But we don't know all that was going on.  Could be he was suffering more than we realized with the long term effects of his injury , and could see that it wasn't going to get any better.  For all we know he discussed it with team management and made his announcement now to let Panesar play without any added pressure from being seen as a controversial choice for Melbourne.  If they were not going to play him here then it is arguable that this clean break may be best for the team as well ...they all know where they are now with regard to the spinner role.

I am never keen to judge a man without a bit of knowledge of what is in his head.

Alfie - I take the point of your final sentence - that's what I was trying to acknowledge when I referred to ''some understanding'' on my part, would have been better to state ''only some understanding''. Others though with the same amount or lack of knowledge do seem very keen to now judge Swann and his decision supportively. That surprises me. He was unquestionably a brilliant bowler (and nothing will change that) but that has little to do with the manner and timing of his retirement which imo leaves a lot to be desired.

One thing which is definite is that Swann has not seen through what he signed up for. That was the starting point of my post and remains the case.

If Tremlett feels the same way about his future in Test cricket as most of us do on here, do you think he should pack his bags as well and catch the next flight home? Prior is also clearly jaded - him pop back now for a break as well? Where does it end?

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Post by guildfordbat Sun 22 Dec 2013, 1:18 pm

VTR wrote:Well I'm going to ignore the wider part of the debate here and just say congratulations to Swanny on an excellent career for England where he has won us countless matches over the last few years in all formats.

A world class player, the best England spinner since the 70's, going to be impossible to replace in the short-term and maybe even longer.

For all my squawking about the timing and manner of Swann's retirement, I'm completely with VTR on Swann's excellence as a player.

My own cricket watching goes back to the mid / late 1960s. In that time, I would place Swann as England's best slow bowler. I know that many would disagree and place Underwood above him. Whilst I would rate Underwood the better of the two on a spin friendly wicket, I would put Swann some way above him on neutral or spin unfriendly wickets and that carries the day for me.

As a measure of Swann's and Underwood's supremacy, whoever is England's third best spin bowler during that time is a long, long way behind.

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Post by alfie Sun 22 Dec 2013, 1:20 pm

No guildford , I do not think anyone who is having a bad tour should be at liberty to pack it in early.

But given Swann's yeoman service over the years and his obvious dedication to the England cause I am prepared to cut him some slack - essentially to believe that what he has done is , at least in his eyes , the best thing for team as well as self.

Now it may be that his judgement is warped by the problems that have beset him in this series ; perhaps he'd have done better to wait , maybe sit out the last two matches , make a decision on returning home...but I think he has earned the presumption of having made a decision for the good of all. Right or wrong.

None of the others you mention are 36 and apparently struggling with an ongoing injury issue ...

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Post by guildfordbat Sun 22 Dec 2013, 1:38 pm

alfie wrote:No guildford , I do not think anyone who is having a bad tour should be at liberty to pack it in early.

But given Swann's yeoman service over the years and his obvious dedication to the England cause I am prepared to cut him some slack - essentially to believe that what he has done is , at least in his eyes , the best thing for team as well as self.  

Now it may be that his judgement is warped by the problems that have beset him in this series ; perhaps he'd have done better to wait , maybe sit out the last two matches , make a decision on returning home...but I think he has earned the presumption of having made a decision for the good of all.  Right or wrong.

None of the others you mention are 36 and apparently struggling with an ongoing injury issue ...

Alfie - I think you're cutting Swann too much slack based on past service and without fully knowing the current circumstances. I can't recall anything like this ever happening in the past. That by itself doesn't mean Swann is in the wrong but it does perhaps support my querstioning of matters.

That said, I appreciate there is the counter argument that I'm being too hard on him and ignoring his past service without fully knowing the current circumstances. Just can't personally buy into it.

Feel we have to agree to disagree for now. Perhaps a change of mind when the inevitable biographies get published ....  Smile 

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Sun 22 Dec 2013, 2:00 pm

Damian Martyn quit mid series even though he'd been told he would play the next test.

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Post by Pal Joey Sun 22 Dec 2013, 2:02 pm

Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler wrote:Damian Martyn quit mid series even though he'd been told he would play the next test.

Yeah, but Australia were well on their way to winning the Ashes 5-0.

Big difference there!
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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Sun 22 Dec 2013, 2:20 pm

Quite, there was a lot less pressure in them and they could carry a guy having a tough spell

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Post by GSC Sun 22 Dec 2013, 2:20 pm

Id be surprised if it wasnt Panesar up for the next series. As others have said, England are more concerned with winning now than developing.
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Post by Pal Joey Sun 22 Dec 2013, 2:23 pm

Look on the bright side, GSC.

At least your Master will be back home before the New Year and you can rub your big stripey head on his legs as he pours you your milk.  Smile
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Post by GSC Sun 22 Dec 2013, 2:27 pm

Or he'll trap me under the floor again. Swings and roundabouts
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Post by Pal Joey Sun 22 Dec 2013, 2:29 pm

Oh yeah, forgot about that. What's his temper like usually? Maybe keep your distance for a few days then...
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Post by kingraf Sun 22 Dec 2013, 2:31 pm

Surely you meant "Swigs and roundabouts", GSC?
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Post by KP_fan Sun 22 Dec 2013, 2:45 pm

Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler wrote:

This really does show how far down the road of having enough the senior guys in this squad have gone. They play too much international cricket.

.

Yes so true...England is the only team that plays soooooo mucchhh international cricket.....
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Post by king_carlos Sun 22 Dec 2013, 2:51 pm

Linebreaker wrote:
Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler wrote:Damian Martyn quit mid series even though he'd been told he would play the next test.

Yeah, but Australia were well on their way to winning the Ashes 5-0.

Big difference there!

Agreed, also helped that Symonds didn't exactly do badly when he came in. If Monty takes a 10 for in the next test with England miraculously turning the momentum around I expect the bad feelings toward Swann due to his timing will rapidly fade!

On a broader note I'd simply say congratulations to Swann on a marvelous late blooming international career. If you look at the brightest points in this sides better days he was usually at the forefront of them. Always with his bowling and fielding, but also his entertaining and often momentum rescuing batting.

He was also a likeable and fun loving character which at the time was pretty important to many fans. Not least as the side had lost a bit of love with the supporters since '05 due to the chopping and changing, off field incidents and often poor results.

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Post by Pal Joey Sun 22 Dec 2013, 2:58 pm

Yes, Symonds had a fine series and turned things around in Adelaide.

It's perhaps ironic that Martyn's replacement, the young Pup, went on to make his maiden Test century in his 2nd innings at Perth.

Not sure if Monty can turn things around to the same degree as that given his current form... but as we all know, stranger things have happened.
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Post by alfie Sun 22 Dec 2013, 3:33 pm

The Martyn one was a bit different though as it was a home series. Would there be so much fuss about Swann if he were not on tour ?

Though the fact that Australia were winning in his case is actually not really so different ; in this case the series has been decided so Swann cannot really be accused of deserting under fire , any more than Martyn.

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Post by king_carlos Sun 22 Dec 2013, 3:36 pm

I thought Perth was a few centuries in for Clarke LB?

In fact if memory serves me right he at least had one from his debut and another in that 07 Ashes prior to Perth unless I'm much mistaken.

Given the injuries, some poor sides he's played in and the captaincy it is remarkable to think that Clarke has 26 centuries at a better average than the likes of Langer, Hayden, Martyn, Hussey, S + M Waugh, Gilchrist, Boon, Border and Ponting. Regardless of debates about strength of opposition bowlers etc it's a very impressive record!

As for Monty I'd be surprised to see him fare much better than Swanny would but given current form and Swann's recent injuries either would probably fare as well as the other.

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