'I was dead against playing, after Butt's claims'

Published: Saturday, September 25, 2010, 16:33 [IST]
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'I was not willing to play last two ODIs

England off-spinner Graeme Swann has revealed that he was totally against playing the fourth ODI after PCB chairman Ijaz Butt made accusations against England players just before the ODI.

It was only after extensive negotiations between the ECB and the players that the game went ahead as per schedule. Swann said it was only because of skipper Struass's persuasion, the whole team agreed to go ahead with the remaining series and win it.

Swann also said that other members of the team too wanted to pull out of the remaining ODI's after PCB chairman's derogatory statements in a local channel in Pakistan. Butt had said that several members of the England team had thrown away the third ODI against Pakistan at the Oval.

"I couldn't wait for those games to end and get the hell out of there. It was a dreadful experience and one I never want to experience again," Swann told The Sun.

I won't lie about that - I was dead against playing. And I wasn't alone, plenty of other players had strong reservations.

"But Straussy, who has been brilliant throughout this episode, persuaded us the best thing we could do was get on with it as a team and make sure we won the series. He was proved to be right."

On the field, Swann finished with 11 wickets, to become the highest wicket taker in the Natwest ODI series. He averaged 19.00 and played a crucial hand in England"s 3-2 victory.


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