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Fiji Time: 2:59 PM on Friday 18 April

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Swann calls time on career

Monday, December 23, 2013

MELBOURNE - English off-spinner Graeme Swann has retired from international cricket midway through this Ashes series, saying it would be wrong and selfish to continue.

Fellow spinner Monty Panesar is likely to take the 34-year-old's place for the Boxing Day Test.

Australia have won the first three Tests to reclaim the Ashes and Swann was under pressure to hold his spot in the team, having claimed only seven wickets in this series at an average of 80.

"I know I'm making a decision for the right reasons," he said at Sunday's media conference.

"My body doesn't like playing five-day cricket any more and I don't feel like I can justify my spot in the team in the last stages of a game.

"As a spinner, that's when you need to come into your own.

"Me hanging around with a decision already made in my head wouldn't be right.

"It would be selfish for me to carry on."

Swann said he knew midway through the second Test in Adelaide that it was time to retire, but he delayed telling the team to make sure it was the right decision.

Despite mulling over it, Swann said he still struggled to tell England coach Andy Flower and captain Alastair Cook on Saturday.

He broke the news to the rest of the team on Sunday morning.

"It should have been a very easy conversation, but it actually made it doubly-hard just to sit down over a coffee and blurt it out," Swann said of his friendship with Cook.

Swann became a key member of the English team that had won the previous three Ashes series.

He said the best cricketing memory would be having his friend Mike Hussey caught at short leg at the Oval in 2009 to confirm England had won back the Ashes.

Swann played 60 Tests from 2008, taking 255 wickets at 29.96.