England spinner Graeme Swann has reflected on Andrew Strauss' reign as his Test captain, declaring his love for a man he has played with and against for nearly all of his career.
Strauss retired from professional cricket on Wednesday, ending his time in charge of the England team in the process after a successful three-and-a-half-year stint. Tributes were duly paid to the two-time Ashes-winning 35-year-old, and Swann added his own eulogy.
"We go back 12 or 13 years to when we were kids and sharing a room at the England Academy in Adelaide," Swann wrote in the Sun. "I love Straussy to bits. He's been my captain in all but a couple of my Tests and there is nobody I admire or respect more. I couldn`t be more proud to call him a mate."
He added: "Some people are born to lead and he is, without a doubt, a guy you would happily follow into the trenches."
Swann, considered to be one of the more senior and well-heard voices in the England dressing room, also touched on Strauss' departure coming amid the ongoing controversy surrounding Kevin Pietersen.
"Straussy's final fortnight wasn't ideal and it's a shame circumstances outside his control led to that situation. But I hadn't seen any diminished potency in his captaincy."
- Andrew Strauss
- Graeme Swann