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Swann: I love Straussy

Spinner hails friend and captain

Graeme Swann and Andrew Strauss: Good mates

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England spinner Graeme Swann has declared his love for Andrew Strauss after the opener announced his retirement on Wednesday.

Strauss walked away from professional cricket, 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 has 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," he 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.

"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 on-going 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," he added.