Swann blasts England selectors over First Test blunder and warns over repeat

Graeme Swann hopes England have learned their lesson after dropping ­Stuart Broad and splitting up Test cricket’s most successful new-ball double act.

Ashes legend Swann was horrified when Broad was dumped for the summer’s opening Test behind closed doors to accommodate Jofra Archer and Mark Wood’s express pace.

England promptly lost by four wickets against West Indies before recovering to win the series 2-1 after Broad was recalled and became only the ­seventh bowler to reach 500 Test wickets.

Broad has since revealed he considered retirement after being dropped.

But his partnership with Jimmy Anderson was restored when Archer was ­disciplined for breaching England’s strict coronavirus protocols.

Swann believes England’s veteran duo remain first choice

England begin a new bio-secure Test ­series against Pakistan at Old Trafford on Wednesday and Swann scoffed: “That will teach us – the grass is never greener on the other side of the fence.”

Broad and Anderson’s dream ticket has yielded 1,090 wickets between them, with 895 of those victims coming in the 117 Tests they have played ­together.

“Jimmy and Broady go ­together like Morecambe and Wise or Bonnie and Clyde,” added Swann. “I have to be careful because the selectors are friends, but sometimes they don’t use their loaves.

“How stupid did it look to break up England’s most ­successful bowling partnership of all-time when we lost that first Test match?

Broad returned in style after his omission from the first Test

“Jimmy and Broady have formed one of the most ­successful bowling double acts Test cricket has known. Why would you want to chuck it out before its sell-by date? I can understand the attraction of 90mph pace, and both Jofra and Woody are huge assets.

“But I’m sorry, you don’t discard blokes with 500 Test wickets lightly.

“I was over the moon when Jofra decided to nip home and check the milk in his fridge wasn’t curdled, or whatever the reason was for him to break out of the bio-secure bubble, because it forced the selectors’ hand.

“I have no agenda against Jofra – he’s the real deal and he’s going to be a massive player for England – but it gave Broady a chance to remind everyone what he’s all about.”

Swann opened up on Anderson’s ability to throw a strop

Three-times Ashes winner Swann, ­speaking as a Betfair ambassador, shared the England dressing room with Broad and Anderson for six years. He laughs now at their crotchety strops when catches went down or edges went astray off their bowling.

Swann said: “Jimmy is one of the grumpiest men in the world when he’s not taking wickets and when he’s cross you stick to doing the crossword in the changing room.

“And you could tell from his comments, Broady was not impressed to be left out.

Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad
Anderson and Broad are “one of the most ­successful bowling double acts Test cricket has known”

“You can’t put a price on a bowler who runs in with the same passion and ability to make things happen in the 80th or 90th over of the day as the first.

“But when people ask if they can carry on until the Ashes in 18 months, why would we look a gift horse in the mouth? When you have people with proven track records like Jimmy and Broady, you don’t mess about with them.

“You can’t say that we will definitely pick them to go to Australia in 2021, because they will be subject to the same standards of form and fitness as everyone else. But we’ve just seen what happens when you drop one of your all-time top bowlers ­without really ­knowing why you’re doing it.”

To read more from Betfair ambassador Graeme Swann, visit


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