Nottinghamshire spinner Graeme Swann has revealed that he did not want to play in Monday’s One Day International against Pakistan at The Oval following unsubstantiated claims that England players had been involved in match-fixing.
Swann confirmed that several players had strong reservations about turning out for the series decider following public comments made by Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ijaz Butt.
"I didn't want to play at all in the one-dayer on Monday," said Swann.
"I won't lie about that, I was dead against playing. I wasn't alone, plenty of others had strong reservations.
“I'm relieved the series against Pakistan is over. With all the claims flying around, there were times when I just wanted the summer to go away, even though I've been bowling better than at any stage in my career in recent weeks.
"I was dead against playing. I wasn't alone, plenty of others had strong reservations." - Graeme Swann
“Mr Butt's comments were as offensive as they could possibly be. They went against everything I stand for as a professional sportsman.”
Swann was England's leading bowler in the series having taken 11 wickets to help him rise to number three in the world one-day rankings.
He has been included alongside Notts teammate Stuart Broad in England’s 16-man Ashes squad ahead of the first Test which begins in Brisbane on Thursday 25th November.
“Graeme Swann is a wonderful bowler,” said Australia’s vice-captain Michael Clarke who has highlighted Swann as England’s talisman.
“His control is outstanding and he spins the ball a long way. Later in the matches, spin will play a big part so Swann will be huge and we have to be wary of him.
“It will be about how they assess the conditions and how they perform but I'm not sure they will go in with just four bowlers.
“The wickets are a bit flatter in Australia and it's a bit hotter than in England, so you have to keep an eye on the conditions as you go along.”