England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker Jimmy Anderson has provided a fascinating assessment of former teammate Graeme Swann in his new book ‘Bowl. Sleep. Repeat.’
The 36-year-old, who has taken 575 wickets from 148 Tests wrote in detail about off-spinner Swann’s ‘loudest fart ever’ during a team meeting addressed by the then coach Andy Flower.
“I remember when Andy Flower had taken over and we were having a team talk. Flower required a respectful silence when he was speaking,” wrote Anderson, per The Sun.
“Halfway through, Swanny farted. It was loud. To this day, the loudest fart I’ve ever heard. Flower looked at him, in borderline shock, then paused.
“Swanny apologised. Flower continued but then reconsidered, stopped and turned back to Swanny, pointing his finger in his face: ‘Actually, that is out of order.’
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“Swanny held his ground. He said: ‘I’ve said sorry once, I’m not doing it again.’
“That’s how stubborn he was. That’s how it works, I guess. That stubbornness so lauded on the field can’t be turned on and off.”
Cricket fans shouldn’t be surprised by Anderson’s revelation as Swann was known for his somewhat carefree attitude and confrontational personality that saw him clash with many of the sports leading figureheads.
Swann, 40, is now a Test commentator and pundit, having stepped down from the sport in 2013. The former Northamptonshire off-spinner was feared by many of the world’s top batsmen, not only for his supreme talent as a bowler, but also because of the fiery attitude and sledging mentality he brought to the crease.
In March 2010, Swann became the first English off-spinner since Jim Laker to take 10 wickets in a match when he achieved the feat during the first Test in Bangladesh.
He was named ECB Cricketer of the Year in 2010 and in 2011 was part of the England team that reached the No.1 ranking in Test cricket.
Swann took 255 Test wickets for his country and will be remembered not only for his colourful personality on the pitch, but also as one of the finest spin bowlers to play the game.
In his book, Anderson also gives detailed accounts on his relationship with fellow Test opener Stuart Broad, labelling the 32-year-old fast bowler as a ‘beautiful’ specimen and his budding friendship with former England captain Alastair Cook who he refers to as a ‘farmer’ through and through.