Tearful Swann savours Ashes success
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Graeme Swann admitted England’s Ashes triumph was enough to bring him to tears.
The off-spinner took the wicket that clinched victory at the Brit Oval - and a 2-1 series win - to spark jubilant scenes on the outfield and then in the dressing room.
Swann was still struggling to come to terms with England’s sensational triumph in the aftermath of victory - and revealed he enjoyed a moment to himself as his team-mates began their post-match celebrations.
“I don’t mind admitting I cried,” he told ECBtv. “I took myself into the physio’s room and screamed at the top of my voice. I had tears.
“I always imagined playing for England, imagined playing in an Ashes series. You can’t dream how good it feels. I’m just so happy I’m a part of it.
“I still can’t get over it. I can’t believe it; I daren’t believe it. It’s happened and it’s incredible, the best feeling in my life.”
Swann had Mike Hussey caught at short-leg as England wrapped up a 197-run win, a wicket which saw him set off a joyous victory charge before ending on his knees and in an embrace with captain Andrew Strauss.
“To take the last wicket, to be part of history like that, is something phenomenal,” Swann added.
“The actual feeling when that last wicket went... I didn’t know what to do. I don’t know how I’ve ended up on my knees, or what I was thinking.
“I want to see video footage of it because it ripped my knees to shreds.”
Swann’s four second-innings victims gave him match figures of 8-158 to complement the blistering 63 off 55 balls he made in the second innings, and lift him 17 places to 10th in the International Cricket Council bowlers' rankings.
His performance capped a fine series - he made 249 runs at an average of 35 and ended the five-Test campaign second only to Stuart Broad in the England wicket-taking charts, with 14.
“All through the series I’ve felt really confident with the bat - I’ve got some runs,” Swann said. “Any time you get to bet to bat is a bonus and I go out and enjoy it.
“It gave us that cushion - no team is going to chase 550 with a wicket turning like that. Australia had a really good crack at it - Mike Hussey was phenomenal today - but scoreboard pressure paid for us, good bowling paid for us.”
Swann was delighted to do his bit to ensure cricket dominated the front and back pages of the newspapers for the right reasons, England having earned their fair share of criticism following the innings-and-80-run defeat in the fourth Test.
He said: “The football season is under way. After the way we played at Headingley there was a danger that everyone would forget about the Ashes.
“But, judging by the number of texts I’ve got on my phone and the number of messages everyone else has got, I think it’s fair to say we were the box office draw today.
“Everyone was rooting for us, everyone seems to be as happy as I am, so good on us.”