Strauss defends Swann after spinner incurs ICC's wrath

Andrew Strauss has sprung to the defence of spinner Graeme Swann after after he was fined for breaching ICC’s Code of Conduct

Chittagong: Mar 12, 2011

England captain Andrew Strauss defended Graeme Swann after the spinner flew into a rage over the damp playing conditions during Friday’s World Cup defeat to Bangladesh. Swann was furious that the night-time humidity at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium produced dew that made it difficult for bowlers to grip the ball.

On Saturday, the ICC fined Swann 10 percent of his match fee after being found guilty of breaching the game’s code of conduct.

Strauss defended Swann’s on-field swearing, which forced one television commentator to apologise on air for the language used. “Graeme was obviously very frustrated, because the dew meant he could not grip the ball,” the captain said.

“He felt he had a big role to play in the game. It was frustrating for him, and all of us, that the ball got as wet as it did. I told Graeme to calm down and get on with it – and he did do so.”

The England captain questioned the decision to hold a World Cup match under lights at the venue. “It seems slightly strange to have the first ever day-nighter at a certain ground in a World Cup,” he said.

“There was a 20-over period when the dew was very, very bad. Swann could not grip the ball at all and I think there’s something not quite right if a spinner can’t grip the ball. Especially in this part of the world, where spin plays such an important role.”

Bangladesh won the match by two wickets to keep their quarter-final hopes alive while severely denting England’s bid for a last eight place.

AFP