Cricket Web Staff Member
It hasn't been since '05 (not in this country anyway) - swing has always, rightly, been seen as incredibly important over here, all the time I've been watching cricket.I think you're right about swing. There's been a love affair with it since 05. It's great to get it, but the ball doesn't swing much in a lot of places around the world.
In my experience also swing has become harder to get in places like South Africa and New Zealand in recent times - maybe to do with them using Kookaburra rather than Duke balls. And also in Australia, though no-one seems able to explain that. It was certainly incredibly difficult to get in England between 2001 and 2006, though in the last 3 seasons it's been back to normal. When, of course, the bowlers bowl properly.
And for the enfatuation with swing of which you talk, England's bowlers evidently did a pretty poor in-love impression with their constant whacking it in halfway down with the first new-ball.