Stuart Broad reveals ‘anger’ at England Test axe

Broad was in England's 13-man squad for the series opener, the first major international cricket since the coronavirus lockdown.

By Author  |  Published: 11th Jul 2020  10:14 pm
Stuart Broad
File Photo

Southampton: England paceman Stuart Broad said he felt frustrated and angry at having “my shirt” taken away after he was dropped for the first Test against the West Indies at Southampton.

Broad was in England’s 13-man squad for the series opener, the first major international cricket since the coronavirus lockdown. The seamer is second only to long-standing new-ball colleague James Anderson in England’s all-time list of leading Test wicket-takers.

Broad was also England’s most successful bowler during a 3-1 series win in South Africa earlier this year, with 14 wickets at under 20 apiece. But for the first match of the ongoing three-Test series, England opted for the express pace of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood, as well as Anderson and stand-in captain Ben Stokes in a four-man seam attack.

“I’m not a particularly emotional person but I’ve found the last couple of days quite tough,” Broad told Sky Sports before Friday’s third day. “To say I was disappointed would be an understatement… I’m frustrated, angry, gutted.

“It’s difficult to understand. I’ve probably bowled the best I’ve ever bowled the last couple of years – I felt it was my shirt… I felt like I deserved a spot in the team, as would anyone else.” Broad’s mood was unlikely to have improved as Archer and Wood managed just one wicket between them on a placid pitch during West Indies’ 318 before England closed on 15 without loss in their second innings — still 99 runs behind.

“I think yeah he’s very frustrated and disappointed to be left out, and someone was going to be,” Anderson told reporters after taking 3-62 in an innings where Stokes led from the front with 4-49.

“I think it’s great for the team also that Stuart is disappointed to be left out because it shows that he’s passionate, he’s desperate to be in this team and be a part of our success going forward, so I think that’s a huge positive for the group.” Anderson added it felt strange not to have Broad out in the middle with him. “We’ve played a lot together so having him at mid-off has been a familiar sight for me when I’ve been bowling so it was odd not him having there.
“I’m sure he’ll use this as fuel to sort of push on and when he does get the nod he’ll perform brilliantly.”

Earlier, the 34-year-old Broad said he had spoken to England national selector Ed Smith about the prospect of adding to his tally of 485 wickets from 138 Tests. And with England set to play six Tests in seven weeks, with a three-match series against Pakistan to follow the Windies campaign, it is likely Broad will be involved.

“I wanted clarification about my future going forward and I was given pretty positive feedback,” said Broad ahead of next week’s second Test in Manchester. “Now I’ll be doing as much as I can in the next week to make sure I’m available for Old Trafford.”