England’s star off-spinner Graeme Swann has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.
The Nottinghamshire spinner will not be playing in the final two tests of the Ashes series as well.The right armer took 255 test wickets in 60 test matches after he made his debut in December 2008 against India at Chennai and took two wickets in his very first over.
He took 17 five-wicket hauls and claimed 10 wickets in a match on three occasions and has finally brought an end to a career that can easily be termed as glorious.
Swann has also played 79 ODIs for England, making his debut in 2000 at the age of 20 against South Africa in Bloemfontein. The 34 year old has claimed 104 wickets in his career and in 2011 was also the number one ranked ODI bowler.
The 34-year-old has also been an important member of England’s T20 squad since making his debut in 2008 against New Zealand, helping England to the ICC World T20 title in 2010 and captaining the side three times in 2011.
“After a great deal of consideration I have decided to call it a day on my international and first class career. This decision has been 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,” he said.
“I don't regret a single day of my career. Every high has been celebrated with verve and vigour and every low painfully accepted as a chance to learn and improve. My personal highlights include the three Ashes victories, of which I will cherish for the rest of my life, and the World T20 victory in the West Indies which ranks as my limited overs highlight.
"I have met, played with and against, and become friends with some magnificent people throughout my journey and feel truly privileged to have been given these opportunities.
“I'd also like to pay tribute to both Northamptonshire County Cricket Club for giving me my grounding in the game and Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club for turning me into the cricketer I wanted to be. Two Championship titles and my maiden one day final victory with the Outlaws are also achievements of which I am immensely proud.
“With two games to go in Australia and then a fiercely competitive summer against Sri Lanka and India I feel that it is a great time for someone else to strap themselves in and hopefully enjoy the ride as much as I have.
“Finally I'd like to thank all my England team mates for their non-stop support and camaraderie and of course wish Andy Flower and Alastair Cook all the success in the world for the future. First and foremost I am a fervent England fan at heart.”
English team’s director Andy Flower said “Graeme Swann 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.”
It will be difficult to find another top class spinner. England were already in tatters after their Ashes loss and now they have had to take this sad news of Swann’s retirement. Flower's side certainly have even more to worry about now.
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