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More could sing Swann song
More could sing Swann song

Graeme Swann says he won't be surprised if several England teammates follow him into retirement after ending his Test career yesterday.

A veteran of 60 Tests, the 34-year-old off-spinner struggled in the first three Ashes Tests, claiming seven wickets at an average of 80.

Swann said he knew this series would be his last tour as he struggled during the second Test in Adelaide and his thoughts were confirmed as Australia reclaimed the Ashes at the WACA Ground last Tuesday.

He said there was a chance other stalwarts could join him.

The spotlight will now fall on under-performing trio Matt Prior, James Anderson and Kevin Pietersen, who are all over 30.

"It's no secret that a lot of guys are getting on a bit, into their 30s. So maybe a couple more will follow," Swann said.

"But I certainly haven't spoken to anyone else about that.

"It's one of those things with sport. It is cyclical. It goes around in big circles and you do have to have new blood coming in."

Swann won't play in the Boxing Day Test, saying it would be selfish to continue now England couldn't retain the Ashes.

He said it had become clear his body could no longer handle the rigours of Test cricket.

"My body doesn't like playing long forms of cricket. My arm doesn't cope very well with bowling 30 or 40 overs in the first innings and then repeating it in the second innings a day later any more.

"I could feel my performances tapering off at the back end of games and I wasn't happy with that. I'm not willing to just hang on and just get by being a bit part player.

"I want to be a guy who wins matches for England and I don't feel I was doing that in the second innings any more."

Monty Panesar is likely to replace Swann for Boxing Day.

Swann predicted more young players would follow all-rounder Ben Stokes into the team and described the third Test century maker as a player England could build the team around. He urged all Test players to never take their position for granted.

"I hope my legacy is somebody who always enjoyed it, who always played with a smile on his face and sometimes a snarl when the fielders misfielded," Swann said.

"But I always treated every day like a lottery win, to be honest, because that's what it is."

Despite struggling this summer, since his debut aged 29 in 2008, Swann has been Test cricket's leading wicket taker.

He towered over England's victorious winter Ashes campaign when he claimed a series-high 26 scalps. Swann bows out of Tests with 255 wickets at 29.96, his best figures of 6-65 coming against Pakistan in 2010.

He claimed 10 wickets in a match three times and led a resurgence in finger-spin bowling after the Shane Warne-dominated wrist-spin era.