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:

Women's cricket

Kate Cross blog

The England Women star reflects on the ODI series with New Zealand and some stunning panoramic views....

Latest News RSS feeds

Ireland stun Windies

Ireland secured the first shock of the World Cup with a four-wicket victory over the West Indies in Nelson.

Pietersen signs for Sunrisers

Kevin Pietersen will play alongside Eoin Morgan for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 2015 Indian Premier League.

Porterfield targeting quarters

William Porterfield expects Ireland to qualify for the World Cup quarter-finals following their win over West Indies.

Ireland 'on track for quarters'

Ireland’s hopes of reaching the World Cup quarter-finals are firmly on track after their win against West Indies, says Kyle McCallan.

Kate Cross blog

The England Women star reflects on the ODI series with New Zealand and some stunning panoramic views.

Features

World Cup wallchart

World Cup wallchart

It's time to plan your next seven weeks around the cricket with the Sky Sports World Cup wallchart!

Sky Cricket Podcast: Bob Willis and Eoin Morgan on England's World Cup defeat to Australia

Sky Cricket Podcast: Bob Willis and Eoin Morgan on England's World Cup defeat to Australia

The 2015 World Cup has begun with thumping wins for co-hosts Australia and New Zealand.

Cricket World Cup: How the Associate members have stunned the big boys…

Cricket World Cup: How the Associate members have stunned the big boys…

Ireland, Scotland, Afghanistan and United Arab Emirates will be the Associate members mixing it with cricket’s powerhouses at the 2015 World Cup - but can any of them pull off an upset like these from yesteryear...