Is Swann really all that? Oh, and England players aren’t paid enough…

Don’t worry, I haven’t gone crazy, I know the answer to the title question is yes. My only question is that, at 33 a minimum of 3 months out of the game is a long time, is it worth it for ‘young’ Swanny? Sadly this is not the only problem England have to deal with after a horrific start to the Test series, with players increasing calls for higher payments for International contracts.

Swann will not feature until June due to the surgery (PC: The Guardian)

Swann will not feature until June due to the surgery (PC: The Guardian)

Graeme Swann, the number 3 ranked spinner in the World, currently missing the number 1 spot to Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal (justifiably) and Sri Lanka’s on form left-armed Rangana Herath (mainly thanks to Kevin Pietersen, damn left-arm spin), has had to leave England’s tour of New Zealand to have ‘career saving surgery on his elbow’ in America next week. England hope he will be back for the Champions Trophy, which will give him a month and a half’s warm-up to the highly anticipated Ashes double-header. At 33 years old (whose 34 in a matter of days, Happy Birthday Swanny, sorry for slating you… If you read this, but as a man of great taste I’m sure you will), Swann is no longer a ‘young lad’ in cricket terms, a Test debut at 29 does hint that you have matured late, but as any good footballing goalkeeper and Daniel Vettori will tell you, the best years are always later. But as it is his second operation on the same elbow, questions can be poised at whether it would be best for Swann to bow out and take a job on the TV.

Phil Tufnell and Andrew Flintoff are the only two English Cricketers with media personalities more popular than Swann's (PC: Wikipeida)

Phil Tufnell and Andrew Flintoff are the only two English Cricketers with media personalities more popular than Swann’s (PC: Wikipedia)

If you Google search ‘Graeme Swann’ his twitter account comes up above his cricinfo profile. I would definitely watch, ‘Tufnell, Flintoff and Swann take on the World’ (witty-er title preferred)! Despite this, Swann became the World’s leading bowler just a year after receiving his first surgery on his elbow in 2009, less than a year after his Test match career started. Also with Monty Panesar as a replacement, I would prefer Swanny to stick it out until Scott Borthwick or Danny Briggs comes of age. As Sclyd Berry states in ‘The Telegraph’, Panesar doesn’t get lefty’s out, Swann does. This doesn’t poise a problem in the New Zealand series, a team short in the left-hand batsmen department, however, the Aussies pack left-handed batsmen anywhere they can, making it extra important that Swanny returns. With Stuart Broad still technically injured despite fighting through the pain, plus the freak injuries that take fast bowlers like Finn and Anderson out of the situation, especially with the amount of cricket England will play before the Ashes begin, a weakened England bowling attack may make this faltering Aussie batting line-up look quite good. Trouble may be ahead. #PrayForSwanny

This couldn’t come at a worse time for England and the ECB as players time and motivation may become split between contract talks and the small matter of beating New Zealand. Cook has called on the players to think about it after the series, while Pietersen’s duck on day two of the First Test hints otherwise. The lucrative contracts that twenty20 franchise competitions waft at the players noses have become too much and they have asked for ‘a substantial amount’ on top of what they are already paid, as compensation for being void from the complete calendar of competitions. Being an England player must be hard, Alex Hales was obviously gutted that he was only able to keep this beauty for one month as a sponsorship perk…

Maybe if he had it for two months, this issue would not have come up. We will never know…

For the sake of 2013 being St. George’s year, many will hope Swann comes back firing and English players get what they want. However, the Australian contingent will hope the Poms mess up in every way, but then, they always do. I would love to hear your view!

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