Chris Woakes backs Graeme Swann over remarks

Sydney Thunder recruit Chris Woakes was shocked to hear of Graeme Swann's departure from the English team and believes he would never intentionally criticise any of his teammates.

Woakes, who played his only Test alongside Swann at the Oval in August, said he understood the spinner's decision to leave a depleted English squad midway through a series.

''I was surprised, he's obviously been a fantastic player for England over the last few years,'' Woakes said. ''He's the one who has made the decision and only he knows when it is time to call it a day. He's been an excellent servant to English cricket and done a lot for the country.''

Woakes did not believe any English player was the intended target of Swann's comments when he accused unnamed players of being ''up their own backsides'', which sparked a war of words with former England players Derek Pringle and Michael Vaughan.

''I'd be very surprised if he did [attack an English player]. It's hard for me to comment … because I haven't seen the comment, but I know Swanny wouldn't be having a dig at any of our players.''

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