Oz players express shock at Swann`s `sudden decision to retire`

Sydney: England spinner Graeme Swann`s sudden retirement caught just about everyone off guard but none more so than his Australian counterpart Nathan Lyon, according to reports.

According to News.com.au, Swann made the shock announcement on Sunday that he was quitting cricket with immediate effect, leaving England without its frontline spinner just days out from the Boxing Day Test.

The 34-year-old has had a horror Ashes series so far, taking just seven wickets at an average of 80 over the first three Tests, but despite his advanced age and poor form it was assumed the off-spinner would continue playing at least until the end of the series, the report said.

The proximity of Swann`s announcement to the fourth Test left Lyon feeling pretty shocked, the report added.

Lyon said that Swann is someone he looked up to a lot, adding that his career stats stand up for themselves and he has been an unbelievable spinner.

Australia captain Michael Clarke also paid tribute to the England spinner, congratulating Swann on his career on behalf of the Aussie side, the report further said.

Fellow 34-year-old Ryan Harris tried to sympathise with Swann, but was still astounded by the suddenness off the decision, the report mentioned.