Graeme Swann reveals Twitter death threats after India defeat

  • @simonrice

England spinner Graeme Swann claims he was sent death threats via Twitter in the aftermath of his side's one-day mauling by India.

A 5-0 series whitewash burst England's bubble following a summer of domination over the Indians and Swann, who was one of the 10 wickets lost for just 47 runs in Tuesday's final game, has revealed he bore the brunt of some fans' frustrations.

He told the Sun: "Although I don't condone death threats on Twitter, I could almost understand it when I had a couple of hundred people threatening all manner of retribution after Tuesday's match.

"Not everyone in cyberworld has a perspective - after all, it is only a game of cricket. But you can almost understand why people get wound up.

"It can't be easy to watch us, not just losing but losing the way we did."

England's 50-over capitulation came in the aftermath of Swann releasing his autobiography, in which he criticised the leadership skills of former captain Kevin Pietersen, who remains a key part of the England side.

Team director Andy Flower suggested his players should wait until the end of their careers before penning their memoirs, but Swann insists his book has had no impact on team morale.

"England have endured a horror month but I can state right now it has nothing to do with what I wrote about Kevin Pietersen in my book," Swann, who will lead England in tomorrow's one-off Twenty20 international added.

"People have claimed my observation that KP is not a natural leader and should not have captained England has caused dressing-room divisions and a breakdown in team spirit.

"Well, anybody who thinks that does not know this England team.

"The reason we lost the one-day series 5-0 to India is because we've been outplayed in conditions which suit the home team. No excuses, we've been hammered.

"As soon as I serialised my autobiography, I spoke to Kevin and explained exactly what I'd written, why I'd written it and that it was not intended as a personal attack on him.

"He accepted that and we shook hands. My relationship with Kevin is exactly the same now as before the book was published."

England have received criticism for a perceived aggressive attitude in the field during this series, and Swann accepts his role in some of the sledging that has taken place and goes as far as admitting some of India's players are disliked by England.

But he claims nothing he and his team-mates have done compares to the treatment Samit Patel has received from the home players.

"There has been a lot of talk about England's on-field behaviour in the five-match series, especially after MS Dhoni claimed some of our sledging was over the top and we were arguing among ourselves," he said.

"I'd probably plead guilty to the second charge because I am one of the worst culprits.

"As for sledging the opposition, I don't think any of our chat has been over the top or personal.

"I know there have been running battles with a couple of India's players and I think caused by individuals in our team disliking individuals in their team.

"We have played India for three months now. You're never going to like all 11 blokes in the opposition.

"I can assure you the comments and personal abuse Samit Patel receives from the Indian players is far worse than anything we've said."