North East cricketer Graeme Swann’s gran has voiced her sadness after he announced his retirement.
Mina Swann, grandmother of the England international spin bowler, last night told The Journal she had no idea why he had decided to give up the game, midway through the Ashes series down under.
However, the 89-year-old, from Blyth in Northumberland, claimed something “nasty” must have happened and blamed the Australian team for not making the England players welcome.
Mina, now living in Swindon, last night said she found out when she put her TV on after waking overnight between Sunday and Monday.
She said: “There is something gone wrong there and I blame the Australian players. Not all the Australian players, a certain one.
“When the team went down to Australia and that young lad came back, there was something going wrong then.
“I do not think they have been (made) very welcome, the team. He is not easily upset, there is something nasty happened.”
Mina spoke of her disappointment at her grandson’s decision.
“He was as happy as Larry. He adored his cricket. It is a damn shame, he has lived for that game, he has done everything for that game.”
Mina enjoyed watching her grandson on TV throughout his career.
“I am very disappointed because that is one thing I look forward to. I will be very disappointed when he is not there.”
Swann, a Newcastle United fan, played cricket in the garden of his grandma’s home at First Avenue in Blyth as a boy, with dad Raymond and brother Alec.
The Nottinghamshire County cricketer made his England debut in December 2008 against India.
He has starred in three victorious Ashes series at home and down under, and was the brains behind the famous Sprinkler dance which became a hit with players and fans alike.
Over the last five years, he has amassed 255 test wickets, making him England’s all time sixth most prolific bowler. In recent years, Swann has been widely regarded as the world’s best spin bowler.
However, the current series has seen England lose the Ashes with Australia leading 3-0 with two tests to go. Swann’s form has also dipped, with him having taken just seven wickets in those three games.
The series has seen bad blood between the two sides with words exchanged both on and off the pitch.
England batsmen Jonathan Trott left the tour last month with stress-related illness, days after being branded “weak and poor” by Australian rival David Warner.
Earlier this week, Swann was criticised over comments he made on Facebook about England’s latest defeat, which he likened to rape.
Now 34, he announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, with immediate effect, over the weekend.