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Ashes hero Swann came close to quitting cricket

ENGLAND Ashes hero Graeme Swann has admitted he was on the brink of quitting the game during a seven-year spell in the international wilderness.<br /><br />Swann fell out of favour with coach Duncan Fletcher after oversleeping and missing the team bus on his first England tour, the 1999-2000 trip to South Africa.<br /><br />It was not until 2007 that he was finally recalled, but not before he had given serious thought to retiring and pursuing a career as a journalist.<br /><br />And as he prepares to return to South Africa for another England tour, Swann said: &ldquo;When I was playing at Northants at the end I couldn&rsquo;t have been further away from playing for England. <br /><br />&ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t even want to play cricket &ndash; for Northants or Northampton Saints, let alone England. I wanted to give up and become a hack. There was a lot of time when I couldn&rsquo;t imagine playing for England again.&rdquo;<br /><br />The 30-year-old made his Test debut against India last year and has since become England&rsquo;s top slow-bowler. But he said: &ldquo;I daren&rsquo;t look further than the next 18 months.&rdquo;<br />