ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

Bangladesh v England, World Cup, Group B, Chittagong

Swann defiant despite ICC fine

ESPNcricinfo staff

March 14, 2011

Comments: 103 | Text size: A | A

Graeme Swann has apologised for his behaviour during England's two-wicket defeat against Bangladesh at Chittagong on Friday, but still believes the ICC was wrong to fine him 10% of his match fee, as he described the decision to play a day/night match in such dew-heavy conditions as "ludicrous".

On a low and spin-friendly surface, Swann's offbreaks were expected to be one of England's key weapons as they set about defending a below-par total of 225. However, on a ground that was hosting its first day/night fixture, it soon became clear that the early-evening dew would be a significant factor, with the wet conditions leading to three ball-changes in the course of Bangladesh's innings.

"I was wrong to swear and lose my temper during England's defeat against Bangladesh and I apologised straightaway to umpire Daryl Harper," Swann wrote in his column in The Sun. "But I think it was ludicrous to play a day/night match in the World Cup that was so heavily influenced by the dew. The ball was so wet it was like trying to bowl with a bar of soap."

Swann's frustration was apparent right from the start of his spell as he regularly stopped midway through his run-up, and at one stage he was heard swearing over the stump microphone as he served up a long-hop that was cut through point. "My frustration boiled over on Friday evening and I was trying to get the ball changed," he said. "It was changed three times in total but it should have been changed every two or three overs. It felt like playing football with both hands tied behind my back.

Graeme Swann lost his temper as the dewy conditions played havoc with his grip, Bangladesh v England, Group B, World Cup, Chittagong, March 11, 2011
Graeme Swann became very animated with Daryl Harper over the damp ball © Getty Images

"To be caught swearing by the stump mic was very disappointing," he added. "I don't condone bad language on the field, especially if it is directed near the umpire. Of course, the dew wasn't the umpires' fault but every time the replacement rolled across the outfield, it became drenched. I was muttering things to myself under my breath that were far worse and I'm glad they weren't picked up. Andrew Strauss told me to calm down, which was fair enough. I apologised to Daryl, saying, 'Sorry, that was out of line'."

Despite admitting he was in the wrong for his outburst, Swann was adamant that the ICC's sanction was unnecessary. "My punishment was to be docked 10 percent of my match fee but I shouldn't be fined at all," he said. "When you have venues where the dew is heavy, day/night cricket shouldn't be played there. At some grounds, spin bowlers might as well not play if they have to bowl at night."

England's failure to overcome Bangladesh has left their World Cup fate dangling by a thread. They need to beat West Indies in their final Group B fixture in Chennai on Thursday to stand any chance of going through to the quarter-finals, and even then they will need at least one of their three main rivals for fourth place - Bangladesh, West Indies and South Africa - to lose their remaining matches.

"Following England in this World Cup is a bit like following Newcastle United - you never know what you're going to get," said Swann. One minute we're beating South Africa, the next we're losing to Ireland and Bangladesh. We have no chance unless we sort out our consistency, and although it has been a long, hard winter, we need to ask ourselves some questions if we can't pull it out the bag for the World Cup."


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Posted by David on (March 16, 2011, 11:56 GMT)

"England need to beat West Indies to stand any chance of going through to the quarter-finals, and even then they will need at least one of their three main rivals for fourth place - Bangladesh, West Indies and South Africa - to lose their remaining matches.". SA have now won another fixture, and so are out of the equation. But even if WI and Bangladesh win their remaining fixture, England can still go through. They will be level with India on points (after India have lost to WI in their final match), and it will come down to net run rate.

Posted by BaBa on (March 16, 2011, 9:02 GMT)

What a Whiner, overrated spinner .......... if he is in england team doesn't mean he is good spinner ... far far away from best

Posted by vinod on (March 16, 2011, 8:58 GMT)

Swann, agreed that the due factor was a hindrance while England bowled. But how can you explain the failure of your batsmen in putting up a decent score against the minnows? Against a weaker side Ireland, 327 wasn't enough for England. Bangladesh has been playing international cricket for quite long now and they have 11 years test playing experience as well. Quite recently they have beaten England for the first time ever in an ODI and that too in England's own den. England had done well to come from behind to tie with India and beat the Proteas which were the main contenders for the trophy before the start of the tournament. West Indies is not a fluke team at all. You have to really fight it hard to overcome the Gayle factor, which is more dangerous than any dew factor. He is nothing less than Adam Gilchrist at his best. I hope England will do well against Windies and go to the quarterfinal.

Posted by Owais on (March 16, 2011, 8:43 GMT)

I have seen so many teams losing like that but this guy has some serious attitude problem. Is it because England cannot lose like that but other lesser team like Pakistan can ?

Posted by John on (March 16, 2011, 8:38 GMT)

There's England again! Adding spice to this interminable WC. Things are trundling along then England does something of an unpredictable nature. This time they complained about weather conditions in a cricket match. Those men just keep on delivering. They're like machines.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 16, 2011, 7:08 GMT)

He should be suspended for a couple of matches. The rule is common for all. If England had won, then he wouldn't complain. Sounds silly Swan. It will be tough ride from here on.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 16, 2011, 6:52 GMT)

Whether he's right or wrong, point is, firstly he's only adding fuel to the popular notion that the English are whiners by such behaviour; secondly, TRUST me Afridi wouldn't have escaped with a mere 10% match fee fine if he were the culprit. Most importantly, dew doesn't matter if you're mighty England playing the weak Bangladesh. In fact, England almost HAD won it. He's merely covered up anything good about the bowling effort with such statements. As for their batting, all I could say was that England bowled and batted badly and Bangladesh deserves to win because even though they batted badly, they bowled and fielded wonderfully. Its time someone credited them with that.

Posted by Biso on (March 16, 2011, 5:33 GMT)

Swann is an over-rated over hyped bowler. The English media have projected him as the best off spinner in cricket, now, which is absolute crap. He has only got exposed.His problem has been that he had started believing in what the English media had been writing about him.Hence, the frustration. England lost because they are poor players of spin. In one odd match they chased a big score and tied. Generally their performance has been poor and it was also expected.

Posted by John on (March 16, 2011, 2:27 GMT)

I don't get why people rave about Swann so much. The biggest thing he has in his favour is his temperament, and even that seems to have deserted him here. He couldn't buy a wicket during the Ashes (against batsmen who supposedly can't play spin bowling), and isn't doing too well here. It does seem very spoilt to complain about dew when it has been a factor in matches in the subcontinent since day/night games began. It seems even more ridiculous when you consider that Swann was one of England's best bowlers on the night! He and Shahzad held the attack together, but the rest leaked too many runs and they ALL bowled way too many wides. Take off the 23 runs for wides and deduct the 23 extra balls they bowled and I think the result could have been slightly different....

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 16, 2011, 0:46 GMT)

All these people judging Swann for being English rather than what he actually said it seems. Not English myself, and usually I'd probably go along with the whinging pom brigade, however Swann is valid in these claims. Why is cricket not played in the rain??? For the same reasons cricket should not be played in heavy dew except with the latter you can actually do something about it, don't schedule games, esp WC games, for Day-Nighters. It not Swann that is the problem here, it's the WC organisers that allowed these ultimately unfair competitions to happen.

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