Stuart Broad believes he could have had a positive influence in the first Test
Stuart Broad admits he was disappointed by England’s decision to bench him for the Ashes opener in Brisbane, having prepared himself to lead the attack on one of the biggest occasions in cricket.
England sprung a selection surprise in the first Test, deciding record wicket-taker James Anderson should be rested and finding no place for Broad, who occupies second place on that list.
While their comprehensive nine-wicket defeat owed more to batting failures than the make-up of their bowling unit – they were skittled for 147 on day one, then collapsed again in their second innings – it remains a striking gamble.
Stuart Broad disappointed to miss out on Gabba
Writing in the Mail on Sunday, he said: “Over the past 12 months, Jimmy Anderson and I tried to ensure we were as fit as could be in the current Covid climate, ready to go and available for all five Tests in Australia. I think we ticked that box.
“But England selection is not in the hands of players. Of course, in my mind I was 100 per cent preparing to play and that’s especially important given my role. As a new-ball bowler, you are faced with bowling one of the most high-pressured deliveries in world sport.
“The first ball of an Ashes series at The Gabba has become a very famous event. So, I got myself into a mindset where I was ready to go. I love Ashes cricket, love bowling at the Gabba and feel like I could’ve had a positive influence on a pitch like that.”
Broad gave a memorable television interview when he was omitted from the side for the first Test of the English summer in 2020, openly questioning the wisdom of the call and suggesting he would seek talks with then national selector Ed Smith.
There was no repeat this week, though.
“It would be wrong in this scenario to kick up a stink,” he explained.
“I’ve been left out on numerous occasions and sometimes it comes as a real surprise. This was less of a surprise, maybe because I wasn’t in the team for the previous series against India due to a calf injury. Never have five Test matches been as bunched up as this and it will be exhausting, so realistically I don’t think any seamer will play all five.”
Racism in cricket: ECB warned further action can be taken if problem is not dealt with
The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee had issued a report calling on the ECB to “clean up its act” on racism.
Ray Illingworth funeral: Dickie Bird pays tribute to ‘outstanding man’
Illingworth, who won 61 caps for England, was one of the country’s most successful captains.
Women’s Ashes Test: Beth Mooney set for remarkable return despite liquid diet
The Australia opener has had surgery on a broken jaw.
South Africa: Former Essex stalwart Simon Harmer earns recall for tour to NZ
Simon Harmer returns after seven-year absence and Kolpak stint.
ICC Rankings: South Africa stars on the charge in latest update
Quinton de Kock and Rassie van der Dussen enjoyed a great series against India.
Women’s Ashes: England are ‘pumped’ ahead of only Test – Heather Knight
England go into the clash in Canberra looking to become the first England team to win a Test match Down Under this winter.
Yorkshire could learn next week if international hosting rights will be restored
Lucrative games were stripped from the county by the ECB.
T20 Cricket: England’s death bowling must improve, admits Paul Collingwood
West Indies came within two runs of pulling off a remarkable chase in Sunday’s second T20.
Cricket must address racism: Former England international Roland Butcher fed up
Butcher, who played three Tests and three one-day internationals for England in the early 1980s, is “not interested” in just words any more.
Racism in cricket: Azeem Rafiq staggered despite Middlesex chair’s apology for comments
Mike O’Farrell appeared to make generalisations at a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee hearing.