Swann flies back to England

Lancashire Telegraph: Graeme Swann has flown back to England to be with his sick daughter Graeme Swann has flown back to England to be with his sick daughter

Graeme Swann is expected to play in the first Test against India despite returning to England to be with his ill daughter.

A statement from the England and Wales Cricket Board on Wednesday afternoon revealed that Swann had already returned home to be with his family. The 33-year-old spinner is, however, expected to return in time for the start of the four-Test series in Ahmedabad on November 15.

"Graeme Swann has returned home to support his family and spend time with his daughter who is currently unwell. Swann will return to India ahead of the first Test in Ahmedabad, commencing November 15," the statement read.

"This is a personal matter and we would ask for everyone to give Graeme and his family privacy. We will not be making any further comment at this time."

Swann will therefore miss England's final four-day preparation match against Haryana, which begins in Ahmedabad on Thursday, to be with his daughter who was born shortly before he flew out to India.

The spinner also missed last week's three-day game against Mumbai A and while his absence is untimely as England look to complete their preparations ahead of their quest for a first Test series win in India for 28 years, it will throw the onus on Monty Panesar to prove his credentials.

Panesar has not played since he and Swann went wicketless in the first innings as England lost the first Test on the tour of Sri Lanka earlier this year.

Swann has, however, previously stated his preference to bowl in tandem with another spinner and the pair enjoyed success together on the sub-continent against Pakistan at the start of the year.

Panesar took 14 wickets in the two Tests he played, with Swann grabbing a further nine, to underline their importance on the slow wickets England are set to face over the next two months.

The duo will now not bowl alongside each other before the first Test, however, after they split the opening two tour games between them. Swann grabbed figures of three for 90 in the tour opener against India A while Panesar returned three for 64 in Mumbai last week.

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