Swann nearly quit cricket in 2004

Last Updated: Jun 10, 2011, 21:56 PM IST

London: England off-spinner Graeme Swann on Friday revealed that he considered giving up cricket four years after making his ODI debut against South Africa in 2000.

The 32-year-old Swann, who played his first Test in 2008, nearly quit the sport after driving into a car park at Northampton and slumping over the wheel in 2004.

"I was low on form, low on confidence, I wasn`t enjoying my cricket and I don`t think the coach at Northampton (Kepler Wessels) was particularly enjoying me, either," Swann said.

"Pulling into the car park one morning, I just lay my head on the steering wheel and thought, `Oh God, I don`t really want to play today. How can I go through with this again?`

"If somebody had offered me six months` work on a cruise ship, I would have set sail," he was quoted as saying by `Mirror`.

Down and out then, Swann fought back to become one of the leading off-sinners in world cricket along with India`s Harbhajan Singh.

"Luckily, Nottinghamshire came along in 2005 and offered me a new lease of life. I fell in love with the game again, and players can only perform at their best if they are truly enjoying their jobs."

"Since I made my debut I`ve enjoyed every minute because I was ready for it," he said.

As Swann`s performance graph headed north, experts started drawing a parallel with former England stars Jim Laker, Derek Underwood and Fred Titmus besides Harbhajan.

Next month Swann will go head-to-head with Harbhajan, which many believe, could turn out to be a battle for claiming the unofficial title of the world`s number one off-spinner.

"It`s flattering to hear the comparisons, but this is my time and I`ve had to wait a long time for it.”

"My first call-up into the England squad came when we were officially ranked the worst Test team so it`s great to be part of a side who are aiming for number one," Swann said.

PTI