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Exclusive – Fraser defends decision to omit Swann

Angus Fraser has defended the decision to originally omit Graeme Swann from the International Cricket Council’s Cricketer of the Year list.

The ICC have belatedly added Swann to the long-list today after their original decision to overlook him for cricket’s most prestigious honour was roundly criticised, with Michael Atherton describing the Nottinghamshire spinner’s exclusion as an “utter disgrace”.

Swann is rated the third best bowler in the world after an outstanding year in which he has taken 93 international wickets.

But former England fast bowler Fraser, who is part of the five-man ICC selection panel which chooses the nominees, insists there are plenty of other bowlers who have made a big impact in the past year.

“I think Swann is in the Test Team of the year so he has obviously made some impact but we can get a bit Anglophobic in this – when you look at the figures there are a lot of players who have actually done pretty well this season,” Fraser told Hawksbee and Jacobs.

“There are lots of bowlers who have taken a lot of wickets too. If you are looking at the wicket takers, average wise, Swann’s seventh or eighth on in the list so there are a number of bowlers who have performed particularly well this year.

“I was getting some stick for Doug Bollinger (being on the list) – he’s got 42 Test wickets at 22 this year. Swann against top eight sides in the world has taken 27 at 27 which is very, very good but it’s not as good 42 at 22.”

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