‘Sometimes I have to pinch myself that I’m playing in an era like this’, says Graeme Swann

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“To be playing in an era in which we have won it three times in a row, I sometimes find hard to believe”

England off-spinner Graeme Swann has admitted that “sometimes I have to pinch myself that I’m playing in an era like this” since Australia used to dominate every Ashes series he watched as a young boy.

Swann recalled how he “knew it was going to be 3-0 or 4-1 when the Ashes came round”.

“Sometimes I have to pinch myself that I’m playing in an era like this,” he told the Press Association. “Australia seemed almost invincible when I was growing up, and you knew it was going to be 3-0 or 4-1 when the Ashes came round.

“We had some good players in those days but as a young cricketer you never really aspired to win it. To be playing in an era in which we have won it three times in a row, I sometimes find hard to believe.”

The last time England won four Ashes series in a row was all the way back in 1882 when the Ashes was first introduced.

England won every Ashes series from 1882 till 1890, which brought them eight long years of joy and glory.

However, Swann clearly noted that the national team will not let the historical significance of this series be a burden on them.

“The important thing is to go out and win things and if that rewrites the record books then that’s great,” Swann said. “As a team we don’t play thinking about records and history. Of course you want to leave a legacy and the more you win the better that legacy will become. If we can win this series then we will be the red-hot favourites when the Ashes come home again.”

Swann, who finished atop the wicket-takers list with 26 victims at an average of 29.03 in the recent Ashes series, added that he relished the fact England were going into Australia as favourites to win the series.

“Maybe there is some complacency (among fans) but if we’re expected to beat them then that’s a very good sign,” he said. “We are going out there with the score at 0-0 and we are certainly not taking anything for granted but if we are going as favourites then it is much better than going there as the underdogs. I would rather be in a team that is expected to win than any other.”

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