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'We know how well we did to win 3-0'

Graeme Swann, who was named England's Test Player of the Summer at the PCA awards, talks about the upcoming Ashes and his own future

Interview by George Dobell

October 4, 2013

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Graeme Swann celebrates with a beer, England v Australia, 4th Investec Test, 4th day, Chester-le-Street, August 12, 2013
Graeme Swann: "I pretty much plan my career around Ashes series and I try to peak in those. I love playing in them" © Getty Images
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Is there any chance that the Oval Ashes Test could have been your last in England?
No, there's no danger of that. Look, I don't think too far ahead and I don't think I'll ever go into a series saying "this is my last" as, once you do that, you lose something mentally and, in my case, my body will just fall to pieces. I know it's a boring thing to say, but I'm just looking forward to the Ashes. I'll see what happens and go from there.

So is the aim still the 2015 World Cup, or is that too far away?
It's way too far away. My focus is always on the next Ashes series and I'm hugely excited to be about to go into my fourth. I pretty much plan my career around Ashes series and I try to peak in those. I love playing in them and I've honestly not looked beyond this next one. I couldn't even tell you who England are playing next summer.

There's a five Test series against India next summer...
Well, great. I love playing India. But it really is a case of getting through the next three months and taking it from there.

Does a season in the IPL appeal?
I haven't thought much about it. But I imagine that, if I did well in Australia, the world would be my oyster.

Do you think the England team gained the credit they deserved for a successful season?
We did in the dressing room, yes. We know how well we did to win the Ashes three-nil and get to the final of the Champions Trophy. Maybe some people in the media didn't think that was good enough but I stopped reading the newspapers 10 years ago, so I don't much care about that. We know how well we did. That's what matters.

You've known Monty Panesar for a long time and always been supportive of him. You must be delighted he's back in the squad.
Yes, I think it's brilliant. I remember Monty as a 16-year-old at Northants, running around flapping his hands as he tried to take catches. I'm delighted he's back in the England squad. I think he is a fantastic bowler and I've always enjoyed having him around. I'm sure that as soon as he gets back to doing what he does best - bowling - he will be fine. He is a quality bowler and where it matters, on the pitch, he has never let England down. It will be great to have him in Australia and I'm sure he will do very well.

It doesn't seem as if the pitches in Australia will offer you much assistance…
I don't think the pitches will turn much, no. But that's fine. They didn't last time, either. I had some help in Adelaide thanks to good old Dougie Bollinger's footholes but generally they won't turn. But I know that going into the series and I know what my role will be.

Are you concerned about the lack of young spinners in England? Sam Wood, your colleague from Nottinghamshire, is one who stands out.
No, not at all. I think there are loads of good young spinners out there and they just need a break. You're right about Sam Wood, though, he is a great bowler. I would love it if he came through next year. He is one who really tries to turn the ball and he can bat, too.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by JG2704 on (October 7, 2013, 20:15 GMT)

I've always said that - of the over 30s brigade in the Eng set up - Swann will be the hardest to replace when he comes to the end of his career. He has been by far our best spinner since Underwood and is such a superb competitor and I'd imagine a really great person to have in the dressing room also

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