Blogs & Opinion


Drabble Down Under:

Most Popular Posts:

Ashes Tour Diary

Drabble Down Under - Joe Drabble Posted 22nd December 2013 view comments

The early departure of Jonathan Trott, the Ashes lost in the blink of an eye and now the retirement of Graeme Swann - it's fair to say this tour is not going to plan for England!

At the age of 34 and with a number of niggling injuries still lingering, Swann's decision to step down does not come as a major surprise in terms of logic, however the timing is baffling.

Four days before the start of the Boxing Day Test and midway through an already tumultuous Ashes series, today's ECB press release came as big shock with two of the most prestigious Test matches just around the corner.

Watch our man Down Under in action for the English media on SS2 on Wednesday night

Watch our man Down Under in action for the English media on SS2 on Wednesday night

His explanation: "I was desperately hoping to win the Ashes out here again like we did in 2010-11 but with the Ashes gone now in those three Test matches, personally I think to stay on and selfishly play just to experience another Boxing Day Test match and another Sydney Test match would be wrong."

After taking 255 Test wickets in 60 Tests matches Swann has earned the right to bow out when he wants, but I always struggle to comprehend why players end their careers midway through a series and, in effect, a match.

Privilege

What is for certain is that an England team-sheet without the name 'Swann' on it will seem odd from now on. He has been a whole-hearted cricketer ever since bursting onto the scene in Chennai in 2008 with two wickets in his first over and it's been a privilege to watch him live for the past few years.

I've been exploring the magnificent city of Melbourne over the last couple of days. It's a 'proper place' as David Lloyd would say, with everything you could possibly want as a tourist. The locals will also have you know that this is the 'Sports Capital' of the world with the MCG, Melbourne Park and AAMI Park all in close proximity, not to mention Albert Park and the Etihad Stadium.

I took a busman's holiday to the MCG on Friday night to watch some Big Bash action. It was nice to see a couple of Englishmen - Luke Wright and Jos Buttler - scoring runs and hopefully that's a good omen for the week ahead.

I'm looking forward to having Christmas dinner with the Sky Sports cricket crew on Wednesday. A meal has been organised in the hotel for all the commentary and production team and I'm pleading for a Christmas jumper-themed affair!

I've left you all a present on Christmas night. Tune into Sky Sports 2 from 10.30pm for build-up to day one of the Boxing Day Test to watch me in action for the English media in the annual Ashes football match. Mark Pougatch has been calling me 'Lionel' ever since.

Happy Christmas back home, I await the next ECB press release with bated breath...

back to top

Other Cricket Experts:

Latest Posts in Cricket:

Latest News RSS feeds

Cook puts on a brave face

Alastair Cook put a brave face on his sacking as England's one-day captain as he took on Test team-mate James Anderson.

Strikers win thrilling finish

Adam Zampa hit a six in the final over as Adelaide Strikers secured a one-wicket over Perth Scorchers with one ball remaining.

Bopara: Morgan a natural leader

Ravi Bopara believes Eoin Morgan is the perfect man to lead England into the World Cup.

Jadeja out of India squad

India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has been ruled out of the last two Tests against Australia with a shoulder injury.

Malinga closing on return

Lasith Malinga is set to return to action for Sri Lanka next month following surgery on his left ankle in September.

Features

Tuck into a feast of cricket on Sky Sports this Christmas

Tuck into a feast of cricket on Sky Sports this Christmas

Join us for a feast of cricket on Sky Sports this Christmas!

English players in the Big Bash: Flintoff, Pietersen, Hales and more ready to shine

English players in the Big Bash: Flintoff, Pietersen, Hales and more ready to shine

The Big Bash League kicks off again this week – and there will be plenty of English participation.

Sky Cricket Podcast

Sky Cricket Podcast

Bob Willis reflects on England's disappointing defeat to Sri Lanka in the seven-match ODI series.