London: England off-spinner Graeme Swann has said that winning the final match of the ODI series against Pakistan felt like winning “the Ashes and the World Cup all rolled into one”.
England won the match at the Rose Bowl Stadium by 121 runs to win the five-match series 3-2.
It concluded Pakistan’s near three-month-long tour of England, which had been marred by ‘spot-fixing’ allegations.
“England players have never been as pumped up for a match as we were playing the final one-dayer against Pakistan,” Swann wrote in his article for an English daily.
“When Eoin Morgan held the winning catch on Wednesday night, we joined together in a huge huddle and jumped and danced for joy. That victory was the perfect answer to all the rotten allegations and scandals that have happened over the past few weeks,” he added.
Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt and fast bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif were provisionally suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and questioned by British police over an alleged plot to bowl deliberate no-balls during last month’s Test at Lord’s.
The off-spinner further said that Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ijaz Butt should apologize for accusing the England team of throwing the third ODI match of the series.
“First I want to say I agree 100 per cent with the decision to send a letter on behalf of the England team demanding an apology from PCB chairman Ijaz Butt. If we do not receive a satisfactory response, we will start legal proceedings,” Swann said.
“Butt’s comments about bookmakers claiming we deliberately lost the third one-dayer in return for “enormous amounts of money” were as offensive as they could possibly be. They went against everything I stand for as a professional sportsman,” he added.
He said that Butt “can’t go around accusing people and pointing fingers with completely unsubstantiated claims”.
“In the civilised world, it is not something that should happen,” Swann said.
He also said that following the controversies, “strained” was the best word to describe the atmosphere between the two teams.