Stuart Broad’s fiery response to England axing in explosive column

Cricket, featured, Stuart Broad

England veteran Stuart Broad admits he is ‘gutted’ at his shock omission for England’s Test squad to the West Indies, saying he and fellow bowling great Jimmy Anderson were ‘blindsided’ by their axings.

The pair, who have claimed 537 and 640 wickets respectively to sit as England’s two most successful red-ball bowlers ever, were surprisingly left out of a 16-man squad to the Caribbean, with uncapped quick Matthew Fisher among those chosen in their stead.

It comes after Broad finished behind only Mark Wood for wickets (13) on a nightmare Ashes tour of Australia, with Anderson averaging just 23.37 for his eight scalps. Experienced bowler Chris Woakes, who took just six wickets at 55.33 for the series, made the West Indies tour ahead of both of them.

In his regular column in The Daily Mail, Broad has teed off at the twin omissions, which he described as ‘unjust’.

“I could take being dropped if I had let my standards slip but facing up to being overlooked when they haven’t is another thing altogether,” Broad wrote.

“That’s why I was so outspoken when I was left out against West Indies in Southampton a couple of years ago. It felt unjust.

“The same again here but with the added factor that I am struggling to put things into context.

“It’s hard to do so when all you’ve had is a five-minute phone call and nothing else.”

That phone call came from former Test teammate and England’s managing director of cricket Andrew Strauss, with Broad admitting he ‘wasn’t expecting’ to be dropped and is struggling to cope.

“I always try to find a positive in the hand that has been dealt to me. To be honest, though, that’s been quite tricky this time because the decision to leave me out of the tour of West Indies has hit me pretty hard,” Broad wrote.

“Not to big it up too much but it has affected my sleep. I said to my partner Mollie one morning that my body felt sore. She suggested that would be stress.

“No, I can’t pretend I am as good as gold, because I am not. It would be wrong to act like everything’s OK.

“I spoke to my mum Carole on Friday because I am waking up more confused and angrier with each passing day, and she just advised me to take time, step away from the game for a bit and figure things out.”

James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

James Anderson and Stuart Broad (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Broad maintains he and Anderson remain well and truly deserving of their spots in England’s best team, both at home and abroad. While that does offer some comfort, it also adds to his feeling of fury at the move.

“From a personal perspective, the only positive I can cling to is that my form — and you could add Jimmy Anderson’s recent performances to this too — has been good,” he wrote.

“I took 11 wickets in the final two Ashes matches, I have been Test match standard for a long time and, for the last eight years, you would say world class.

“And so, it makes it even more upsetting that they don’t see me part of their immediate plans, especially with a view to looking at a way of winning away from home, which was briefly explained to me.”

Broad has played 152 Tests for England since making his debut in 2007, behind only Anderson (169) and Alastair Cook (161). However, in recent years he has often found himself overlooked for several Tests in a series, particularly away from home.

Most recently, he was left out of the XI for the Gabba and Melbourne Ashes Tests; this, however, is the first time since becoming a regular he has been overlooked for a tour while fully fit.

Despite the setback, Broad remains confident his international career isn’t over, hinting that England’s interim selection panel following the resignations of coach Chris Silverwood and director of cricket Ashley Giles may be thinking differently from whoever takes over the roles full-time in the months to come.

“The decision has been made by a new selection panel really and that decision will arguably differ from the one a new director of cricket or head coach will make in a few months’ time.

“I am in the top three bowlers in the country and whether I play — or indeed Jimmy plays — when we resume international cricket in June will be a call for new eyes to decide.

“Therefore, as soon as the new regime is announced, it will be important for me to get into a room with them and ask what they see the future looking like.

“Their opinions are now everything to me.”

Strauss, meanwhile, maintains Broad and Anderson still have a role to play in England’s Test side moving forward.

“No one is saying this is the end of the road,” Strauss told the BBC.

“They’ve been great servants to the game, they’ve been utterly professional, their performances have been outstanding and of course they’ve earned the right to have that stature.

“But as a team we have to also think there is life beyond them as well, and we need to develop some of the other bowlers and allow them to play more of a leadership role rather than a followership role and so we have the opportunity over these five weeks to do that.

“The new coach and director of cricket will look at selection over the summer and Broad and Anderson will be very much in the mix.”

England’s three-Test series against the West Indies begins on March 9 in North Sound.

Leave a Reply