Cricket: Swann retirement a blow, says Vaughn

Graeme Swann will be missed by England more than any other player in the last 20 years, according to former captain Michael Vaughan.

Graeme Swann of England

The 34-year-old has announced his retirement from England duty having taken 255 Test wickets - the most by any off-spinner in his country's history - as well as being a key member of the dressing room.

In a series of tweets, Vaughan said: "Too soon IMO (in my opinion) for Graeme Swann 2 retire but it's been a absolute pleasure watching him perform for many years.Finger spin out of the top draw

"Of all the England players over the last 20 yrs he is the one the team who miss the most .. Spinners of his quality are a rare breed...

"He has also been a brilliant character who plays the game how it should be played .. With a energy of fun and humour.. #OldSchool"

Former England coach David Lloyd praised Swann's selflessness.

He tweeted: "Swann retirement... Been a brilliant bowler in International cricket . Not about individual records for him"

Not all were 100% complimentary though.

Derek Pringle, who took 70 Test wickets for England, criticised Swann's timing.

He tweeted: "Swann took 255 Test wkts and has been terrific bowler for England. Unless injured tho he should have seen Ashes tour out as a senior player."

Mick Newell, director of cricket at Swann's county Nottinghamshire, said Swann's carefree demeanour belied a studious attitude to the game.

"He joined us with a reputation for not taking things seriously but I found him to be very thoughtful about his cricket and very committed to improving his game," Newell told www.trentbridge.co.uk.

"He knows how to perk up a dressing room and he was an outstanding character to have in a cricket team.

"Swanny has been a dominant performer in Test cricket for six years and it will leave a huge gap in the England team because there is no outstanding spinner quite ready to fill the place that he will leave.

"His chance on the international scene came very late after a long period in county cricket but he grasped it and surpassed all expectations with his achievements at the highest level."

As for the future, Newell added: "I'd imagine that coaching would be far too mundane for him but he'll always be welcome at Trent Bridge.

"I expect that we'll see him launch a media career and I'm sure he'll be very successful."

Swann's opposite number in the Australia team, Nathan Lyon, paid tribute to his "unbelievable" fellow off-spinner.

"He's someone who I've looked up to a lot," Lyon told cricket.com.au. "His career stats stand for themselves, he's been an unbelievable spinner and someone who I watched pretty closely in my time.

"I'm sure he will be sorely missed in the England team but I wish him all the best in the future."

Australia paceman Ryan Harris admitted the announcement had taken him completely by surprise.

"I don't know what to say, I thought he'd bowled okay in the series, just without luck I guess," said Harris. "I feel that we've played him very well too.

"Something's obviously not quite right with him, or he's fulfilled whatever he wanted to do, but to me that's a huge shock."



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