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Page last updated at 19:56 GMT, Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Swann focusing on tour of India

Graeme Swann
Swann could play a key role for England in the one-day series in India

England arrive in Mumbai on Thursday ahead of the series against India with Graeme Swann insisting their Stanford Twenty20 debacle is behind them.

England lost by 10 wickets in the $20m Stanford match, ending a controversial week that threatened to embarrass the England and Wales Cricket Board.

But spinner Swann said: "I was a lot less bothered than I thought I'd be.

"Even though it was a big week in terms of publicity, it still ranks low in the grand scheme of England cricket."

The winner-takes-all nature of the contest meant England's players missed out on the chance to win $1m each - but Swann insists that any potentially divisive effect of the defeat was erased by the time the team arrived back at the hotel after the match.

"There may be the odd character who ekes into any team who is a bit poisonous here or there but luckily I don't think we have anyone like that at the moment," he said.

"The journey back after the match was very English. There was a lot of mickey-taking and Paul Collingwood came out with 'don't worry lads, at least we got to the final'.

"We were appalling... but you might as well laugh about it because otherwise you sit there thinking 'oh no, what just happened'.

"At the end of the day we didn't lose anything, we just didn't win anything. Of the three big games I have played in over the past six weeks - the Pro40 finale, the Championship finale and the other night - this one hurt a lot, lot less than the other two."

And the 29-year-old says the tournament will not have harmed England's preparations ahead of what promises to be a difficult seven one-dayers and three Tests against India.

"We have had a week in the Caribbean, staying in a nice hotel, the food has been great, and there was a great gym as well so we were actually getting in shape for this India trip."

The off-spinner can expect a prominent role in India given the influence of slow-bowling on the continent and his success in similar conditions in the one-dayers against Sri Lanka a year ago when England won the five-match series 3-2.

"It does add pressure on me given that they're the best players of spin in the world," he said. "But it is actually more fun bowling in international cricket because you're always bowling at better players.

"At the end of the game you feel more pride if you have done well because you know you have had no easy wickets, no easy bowling."

I'm now coming back after my fourth operation so all this is almost like a bonus

Andrew Flintoff
Meanwhile, all-rounder Andrew Flintoff has given England a boost ahead of the India tour by saying he is back enjoying the game.

Flintoff had a frustrating time with ankle and side strain injuries over the summer but he had a spectacular resurgence on his return, winning the man-of-the-series award for his displays during the 4-0 one-day series triumph over South Africa.

"One of the things I was determined to do when I came back into international cricket was that I wanted to enjoy it," he said.

"I knew there was going to be pressure on me but cricket's not life or death, it's a game and it's to be enjoyed.

"Possibly for a period I lost that enjoyment. I'm in a privileged position because I'm playing cricket for England but I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts and it always helps when you're doing well but I'm in a very good place at the moment.

"There were a lot of different circumstances which dictated I wasn't enjoying my cricket as much as I should have done.

"There was what happened in the World Cup and when you're not playing well or injured it's very tough.

"I'm now coming back after my fourth operation so all this is almost like a bonus. I don't know how long I'll play for but I'm determined to enjoy it while it lasts."

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see also
Tendulkar rested for one-dayers
05 Nov 08 |  Cricket
ECB defends Stanford involvement
01 Nov 08 |  England
ECB plans Stanford Series review
29 Oct 08 |  England
Stanford Super Series results
02 Nov 08 |  Cricket
England in India 2008
14 Jul 08 |  Cricket

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