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Ashes: Coach Andy Flower was shocked at the timing of Graeme Swann's departure

Swann: Walking out on England's Ashes tour

England coach Andy Flower has praised the contribution of Graeme Swann to his side but admits he would have liked him to see out the Ashes series in Australia.

The off-spinner stunned the cricketing world when calling time on his career after England's third successive Test defeat in Perth earlier this month.

Despite two Tests remaining, the 34-year-old walked out claiming three operations on his elbow had taken their toll and he could no longer bowl anywhere near the standards which had seen him take 255 wickets in 60 Tests for his country.

Outstanding job

"Graeme Swann has done an outstanding job for England over the last six or so years," said Flower, who admits Swann had discussed his decision with him and captain Alastair Cook before going public.

"I think he's the seventh highest Test wicket-taker in English history. To do that over 60 Test matches is a great effort, and he's been a huge part of our success over the last few years.

"I've been very proud to have had him in the side, and I know he can retire very proudly, but in saying that, I would have liked him to have seen the tour out."

Should Alastair Cook continue as England captain?

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