Broad: Ashes defeat makes us value victories

England

England fast bowler Stuart Broad feels the experience of being humiliated in Australia could work in the side's favour against Sri Lanka, as they've been reduced to ashes and are ready to rise again.

England fast bowler Stuart Broad feels the experience of being humiliated in Australia could work in the side's favour against Sri Lanka, as they've been reduced to ashes and are ready to rise again.

The two Tests against Sri Lanka this month are the first England have played since the five-nil Ashes demolition earlier this year, and Broad feels that with a new coach on Board, and some new faces around, they will use those lessons.

Broad told <i>The Guardian</i>: "It's a tough experience to go through but it should strengthen us. Before a big era comes you often have those really tough moments.

"I remember being bowled out for 51 in the Caribbean. That's the worst feeling ever, and then six months later it was pure elation as we won the Ashes [in 2009]. Sometimes it takes heartache to make you value the wins and push forward."

Broad was essentially Persona Non Grata for Australians during both Ashes series, after his non-walk at Trent Bridge, and the abuse was astronomical Down Under. Before, he'd played that impact down, but now he admits how tough it was to deal with.

He said: "I'd done some decent work with the psychiatrist in building a wall for what was coming my way. It would have been easy to think, 'Oh it'll be fine, they won't boo me'.

"But I had to say, 'Shit, I'm going to get pelted so we have to prepare for it'. We had three warm-up games and I'd walk round the grounds to take some pommy-bashing and guys coming down with their cans and saying 'Broad, you're a… '

"You look at them and nod, but you don't get angry. You still feel your heart going because someone's calling you a bad name. But it turned from a few guys shouting at me to something else.

"I never thought it would be as aggressive as it was that first morning in Brisbane. When my name was announced it was bouncing off the stands.

"I just went 'Wow, that's 50,000 people properly booing me'. It ruffled me and I bowled a no-ball with my first delivery. I also slung one down leg side in that over. So I must admit I was shaken by it.

"But I got a wicket with my first ball next over and I felt fine. I went down to deep square and the whole crowd stood up and shouted and I had a singalong with them and just relaxed.

"There was a moment when I found myself whistling along to 'Broady is a wanker' and I thought: 'What am I doing here?' It was a hell of an experience for a 27-year-old to go through. I'll never face anything that tough again."

While England have still got a long way to regaining the respect of some fans, Broad feels that the mood within the camp is positive now under Peter Moores, and that they're trying to be a bit more accessible to the public.

He said of the charm offensive: "We can open up more. We got too sheltered. The public want to feel they know a team and with Twitter it's hard to be insular and keep everything behind closed doors.

"For the last four years we've not wanted to share much and we've kept things under wraps. But so much has changed in cricket, even since I started playing. So why not open up and be honest?"

Broad was genuinely optimistic about the future, saying that young players were being blended into the side and would soon make one 'helluva' outfit to contend with.

He said: "I have a dream of playing 100 Tests. That's still the magical figure but it's a long way off. The key is that I enjoy my cricket when the side's winning.

"So we need to get back to winning ways with young guys coming through the ranks, like Ben Stokes, who blend in alongside the consistent performers who have 60, 70 and 80 caps. It's a good mix and if we get it right we could have a hell of a side again."

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