London - Former England spinner Graeme Swann believes that developing
turning tracks on the County circuit is integral to the development of national
The spinner opined that a handful of grounds around the
country should promote spin by having the ball turn square from early in the
England's most successful modern spinner believes that in
order for the country to compete away from home they must get better against
spin and they should not punish County's that prepare big turners.
The spinner spoke of the need to develop spin at a recent
England Lions training camp: "It's the game as a whole.
"The entire system, and the way we think about cricket.
From county cricket, county scheduling, the whole pitch thing - there should be
three or four places in the country where it spins square.
"Playing four-day cricket, it should be actively
encouraged, rather than frowned upon still. I don't think you get docked points
any more if it turns on day one, but if it turns square on day one you probably
would, people would turn their noses up.
"But look at what happened in Bangladesh, day one of
that Test Match, turning square before lunch. It happens around the world, and
the more places we go now the more places it will turn square because teams
like us and Australia aren't comfortable against it.
Speaking to Ricky Ponting the other day and he said it's exactly
the same for Australia - people know your weaknesses away from home and they'll
play to it. We need to be able to handle that.
"I'm happy to do whatever I can to get us ahead of the
world. We should be ahead of the world - we've got better resources than
anyone. We've got better players than anyone, I'm convinced of it. There's no
talent pool better than the one we've got in England. So let's use it."
Swann had linked up with the England Lions to help their
spinners and batsman prepare for tours to Asia later this winter.
The spinner described his role as one of mentor rather than
Swann said: "Andy Flower and Peter Such asked me to get
involved to see if I could talk to the spinners a bit.
"Not so much coaching, probably mentoring I suppose -
talk to them about bowling in the subcontinent before they go. And then talk to
all the Lions lads about playing for England, what it means, and any little
pointers I can help with.
"It's not a technical thing, I'm not a technical coach,
never have been - I was never a technical bowler, I didn't like getting too
deep down and dirty. It's about bowling and knowing the game, and what I can
give them to help them move on to the next level."