With Jonathan Trott already gone, and captain Alastair Cook running out of big player allies, I think it is at best ‘regrettable’ that Graeme Swann couldn’t have seen it through to the bitter end of this disastrous series.
Don’t get me wrong, Swann has earned the right to retire when he chooses, but I still don’t think it is right to quit a troubled tour and leave Alastair Cook having to cope without another of his experienced players.
Swann may well not have played in the last two Tests, but he was a member of the sqaud, and as so, should have stood with his team mates, even it that meant he carried the drinks.
I can see that the commentators and cricket hacks, most of who probably rely on Swann for a comment for a story, all seem to be playing a straight bat and – in general – not criticising this decision. But I really don’t see how you cannot criticise it.
When Brian O’Driscoll got dropped for the final game of the Lions Tour, he didn’t suddenly announce his retirement from playing for the Lions and come home. Although massively disappointed, he put his suit on and sat in the stands and supported his team mates. It wasn’t a like for like situation, but I’m sure you know where I am coming from.
I think Swann’s decision smacks of selfishness. I believe he may have known he was about to be dropped for Melbourne and Sydney, and so decided to quit. I’ve always thought Swann looked a fairy selfish individual, and I believe this decision confirms that.
The cynic in me is already very suspicious of the timing here, why didn’t he carry on playing ODI cricket with the World Cup just around the corner?
It will be interesting to see what happens with Swann over the next few weeks, where he pops up next, and how long it takes him to bring out his next ‘tell all’ book, with all the Strauss, Pietersen stuff, etc, included.
I can already picture the advert where a slightly wooden sounding Swann is saying “buy this week’s Sunday Sun (or whatever it is called) to find out what really happened with me and the England squad.” With an exclusive from Jordan, or some other celeb crap, somewhere in there as well.
Whether Swann was to be dropped or not, I do believe he was approaching the end, that’s not to say he wouldn’t have played in the next English summer. Okay, so his departure was inevitable, but to leave like this, in these circumstances isn’t on in my view.
Although they are not saying it, Andy Flower and co must be privately fuming, and I don’t blame them.