England cricketers jumps off the boat at Volvo Ocean Race in Abu Dhabi

Graeme Swann and Alastair Cook at the third leg of the Volvo Ocean Race Getty Images

By CricketCountry Staff

Abu Dhabi: Jan 16, 2012

Alastair Cook and Graeme Swann of England were guests for third leg of the Volvo Ocean Race to Sanya in China. They were on board of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and minutes before the race started, were thinking of jumping of the boat.

“I was expecting to jump off just before it started but then the call went out that the race was starting in 50 seconds and we had to get it right,” Swann told The Telegraph.

“We are in the friggin race I thought. How are we going to tell Andy Flower that we can t play the first Test because we are in China?”

“We had no idea what we were doing when we arrived. It was sold to us that there would be a leaving ceremony in the marina then we would have to jump off the boat and climb out. It sounded great but it turned out to be 1,000 times better than that.”

“I like to think we were the tactical genius behind Azzam s stunning start but in reality, all we did was stand at the back and bang our shins a lot tripping over the ropes.

“In the rib on the way out, everyone was asking if we knew what we had let ourselves in for and the name of Zinedine Zidane kept coming up because he apparently did the most amazing backflip off the boat in Alicante.

“So then we were thinking what should we do but when push came to shove, it came as bit of shock because they just said off you go so we didn t have time to think.”

However they did jump. While Cook jumped with knees drawn close to his chest, Swann landed after completing a twirl in the water.

Both the England cricketers were rescued by the rib drivers.

“We get the chance to do some weird and wonderful things when we are travelling around the cricket but it would never have crossed our minds to race on a Volvo Ocean Race boat.

“But it was one of the best things we had ever done. Ian Walker and the guys were cricket fans so we might have to sort out some tickets for them.”