Ashes 2013-14: England team director Andy Flower admits his regret over the retirement of spinner Graeme Swann
Flower praises 'outstanding' Swann but admits he had hoped the 34-year-old would see out the remainder of the tour
Monday 30 December 2013
Andy Flower would have liked Graeme Swann to have seen out England's unsuccessful Ashes tour before retiring.
Swann's decision to quit after the tourists' third successive defeat in Perth - with two Tests still to play - divided opinion.
The Ashes were gone, and 34-year-old Swann explained at the time that he felt he could no longer bowl to anywhere near the standards England required of him.
Swann revealed he had discussed his decision with Flower and captain Alastair Cook before going public with the news, and the England team director said on Monday: "Graeme Swann has done an outstanding job for England over the last six or so years.
"I think he's the seventh highest Test wicket-taker in English history.
"To do that over 60 Test matches is a great effort, and he's been a huge part of our success over the last few years.
"I've been very proud to have had him in the side, and I know he can retire very proudly.
"In saying that, I would have liked him to have seen the tour out."
Three operations on his bowling elbow had taken their toll, and Swann concluded it was in his and England's best interests for him to bow out mid-series.
England lost the fourth Test in Melbourne and will now head to Sydney for the final Test hoping to avoid a series whitewash.
Phil Hughes dead: List of players who have tragically died on the cricket pitch
Nani transfer: No future for winger at Sporting Lisbon as club cannot afford his wages when loan deal with Manchester United runs out
This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
Mario Balotelli is playing badly at Liverpool because he misses his daughter, says agent
Tottenham Hotspur vs Partizan Belgrade match report: Spurs go through in Europa League - but pitch invaders grab the attention
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'