Ok, so Graeme Swann missed out on being named as ICC Cricketer of the Year with the award going to the legend that is Sachin Tendulkar, but there really is no disgrace in that.
I’m sure Swann isn’t too down hearted about missing out, after all – with the exception of his cat getting stuck under the floorboards – it has been a magnificent 12 months for the spinner in all formats of the game.
Just 18 months ago who would have imagined Swann’s name would be getting mentioned alongside Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Hashim Amla? Ok, I’ll give you Amla.
I certainly wouldn’t and I doubt Swann would have either. To get down to the final 4 shortlisted players in the Cricketer of the Year award is a remarkable achievement in itself.
On top of that Swann is a T20 World Champion, he is ranked No.2 in the test bowling rankings and he is No.3 in the ODI bowling rankings. Put these two rankings together and on average he would currently be the top bowler in the world.
Not a bad 12 months work.
I’ve wrote on this blog and on others in the past that a good run of form can only go on for so long. After a certain length of time you have to start to accept that maybe the player actually is the real deal, a top class performer.
Swann has well and truely made that transformation.
His uncanny knack of getting a wicket in the 1st over of a new spell is also priceless for Andrew Strauss and England, how many times has he got England out of a hole doing that lately?
I also believe that he has taken England to another level with his positive nature that seems to be rubbing off and making England more of an attacking team prepared to take risks to get wickets.
Another area of the team that has gone up a notch since his arrival in the side is the slip fielding. England had struggled to replace Trescothick and Flintoff in that department, moving Collingwood from his preferred gully position and having to try out the likes of the half asleep Alastair Cook to make up the numbers. Swann’s inclusion has solved that particular problem.
Add to that the fact that he is a useful lower order batsman and England have a very handy cricketer on their hands.
So heres to hoping that Swann can continue this outstanding run and cap it all off with an Ashes victory down under. I’m sure that will make up for missing out on this award.
Go for it Swanny!!