Swann transforms from clinically depressed county journeyman to England great

July 25th, 2010 - 3:04 pm ICT by ANI  

London, July 25 (ANI): Ace England off-spinner Graham Swann has revealed that there was a time that he was so depressed that he thought of quitting cricket, and adds, that he is equally surprised to be now considered an England great.Swann says that he needs to maintain his form in the Test series against Pakistan and do well on the Ashes tour this winter to be able to overhaul South African pacer Dale Steyn as the world’s top-ranked bowler.

Yet five years ago, according to the News of The World, Swann’s career was going nowhere.

Rejected by England coach Duncan Fletcher after a terrible tour of South Africa in 2000, and unwanted by his county Northants, Swann was on the brink of quitting the game.

The 31-year-old said: “Looking back at the end of my time with Northants, I was probably clinically depressed. It got to a point where the club didn’t want me to play for them and I didn’t want to play for the club.”"I was in an atmosphere where if you didn’t conform to this strict regime, then you were seen as a real black sheep. I was made to feel everything I did was evil. My confidence was never dented, I just felt trapped. I was told by the coach (Keppler Wessels) ‘you’re only playing because we’ve got no one else. It would be better for you and the club if you left’.

Swann said: “From an ego point of view it’s not ideal and, if you let it, it could lead to a spiteful situation.”

But since moving to Nottinghamshire and breaking back into the England team everything has changed.

Swann is now officially rated England’s most valuable player, averaging 30 with bat and ball after 20 Test appearances.

“The move to Notts has enabled me to take my career to another level,” he said.

“It’s been a whirlwind couple of years. I’ve been on a high for two years - long may it continue. I’d completely written off playing for England a few years back. Whatever happens from now I’ll certainly finish my career a lot happier,” said Swann, who has a cheery persona, allied to a fierce determination to win.

“This England team turns up for every series knowing they can beat any other side in the world. That wasn’t the case in the past,” Swann said. (ANI)

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