London, Oct 23 (ANI): Off-spinner Graeme Swann returns next week to South Africa for England, a decade on from his first trip when a series of disciplinary lapses nearly wrecked his cricketing career.
That tour was also the first for Duncan Fletcher as England coach and the strict disciplinarian never picked him again.
It took a change of management, and a maturing of player and person for Swann to earn another crack and now he flies to South Africa as England's senior spinner.
"At the end of my time at Northants there couldn't have been anything further away than playing for England," he said on Thursday.
"I didn't even want to play cricket for Northants let alone England. I wanted to give up and a lot of the time I could never imagine playing for England. Even a year ago, when I went to India, I was just hoping to sneak a Test match and perhaps play in Mumbai. All of a sudden I ended up playing and was then the senior spinner. It has been a bumper 12 months and hopefully it can continue. I look forward to next 18 months," The Telegraph quoted Swann, as saying.
"I daren't look forward longer than that. I just want to keep performing to stay in the team. South Africa promises to be a good tour. I can't wait for the Test series to start after what happened during the Ashes. Despite us beating Australia, we are being written off as having no chance," he added.
England leave for South Africa next weekend after enjoying a couple of weeks off since the Champions Trophy and time to reflect on the Ashes victory.
Swann is adamant more could have been done to cash in on that success. (ANI)