England captain Alastair Cook declared the furore over Graeme Swanns shock retirement closed Wednesday,saying the spinner had assured him controversial remarks about player arrogance were not directed at his teammates. Swann stunned the cricket world with his announcement Sunday that he was immediately resigning from the England team midway through the Ashes series and stoked tensions by saying some players had no idea how far up their own backsides they are.
There was speculation he was referring to his England colleagues,particularly outspoken batsman Kevin Pietersen. But Swann has since denied that and Cook said Wednesday he had insisted it was not the case.
A phone call to Swanny reassured me very quickly that it wasnt at all anything about England players, Cook told reporters ahead of Thursdays Boxing Day fourth Test,where the tourists will be hoping to stave off a 5-0 whitewash of the series. I havent heard the quotes exactly obviously Ive seen whats been written and whether its come across badly,he totally 100 per cent reassures me and the England team that its not about us.
So to me the matters closed on that. Australia clinched the Ashes by taking an unbeatable 3-0 lead in Perth and Swannss departure has further destabilised the tourists already-shaky campaign. But Cook commended Swann for his courage,saying no ones forcing you to play cricket for England,were privileged to do that.
Graeme just gave up a lot for that England shirt and he had no more to give,and I think its a very brave decision, he said. He could have just hung on for these two games,and whether he played or not is pretty irrelevant,he could have stayed but he was like I know Ive got no more to give,I dont feel Ive got anything left. Cook said Swann will be missed because he was a fine,fine cricketer.