It was before last summer’s first Test that Stuart Broad reacted with fury and dismay when he was left out on the England side to face the West Indies.
He told how he thought the shirt was ‘mine’. How his record, especially at home, demanded England pick him for their best available team at the start of a test summer.
There was no hiding behind rest and rotation. Broad knew he had been dropped.
Stuart Broad has proven he deserves to have another chance to win the Ashes with England
The longtime campaigner spoke up – and how he then walked the walk by taking 29 wickets in the remaining five games of the summer, including his 500th in Test Cricket, to become England’s Player of the Season. A point made emphatically.
There seems no chance of England repeating their mistake against New Zealand on Wednesday, not least as Broad was named as Joe Root’s deputy captain on Tuesday in the absence of Ben Stokes.
It seems certain they will choose both their longtime champions in Broad and Jimmy Anderson, who are on the cusp of becoming England’s joint most capable player, and no one will question the perceived absence of long-term thinking when they do.
Like Broad, Jimmy Anderson also has to persevere – they get better with age
Why would they? Yes, in recent years I was among those who thought England should look to the future by leaving out one of the big two in most matches to develop the variety of attack that could bring them the Ashes in Australia.
After all, I was in Australia for the last two Ashes and cringed when England lost 5-0 and 4-0. It was brutal. And one-pace attack was one of their biggest problems.
Whatever anyone says about an Ashes obsession, it’s the series that matters the most. It is the only thing that judges English cricket, rightly or wrongly. Chris Silverwood is absolutely right to prioritize the Ashes from the day he became England manager.
But Broad, along with Anderson, have proved beyond a doubt that he deserves to be there this winter, even if he turns 35 then.
They really both get better with age and have earned the right to carry on for England together for as long as possible. Even in Australia.
It is to their enormous credit that the passion still burns. They still really want to get better. Silverwood tells how Broad is still ‘curious’ about bowling. He is an old dog who is learning more and more new tricks.
England coach Chris Silverwood has talked about how Broad remains ‘curious’ about bowling
And everyone in Nottinghamshire is talking about how impressive Broad has been in county cricket this season, genuinely excited to still be involved at that level.
“Broady loves playing cricket at the moment,” says his Notts team-mate Luke Fletcher, who has clearly learned from playing alongside Broad and is producing some of the best cricket of his career at the age of 32.
“He’s all buzzing. I’m watching him now and he still wants to figure things out. He is an inspiration.’
An inspiration, yes, and one to be cherished.
We need to enjoy Broad and Anderson as long as possible. Starting at Lord’s on Wednesdays.
Lancashire’s joy has spread so far beyond Old Trafford
Have you seen the celebrations as Matt Parkinson took the last wicket to give Lancashire their first Roses win in ten years?
It was as if they had won the Ashes and Sky was there to capture the moment. Have you seen the many young and feminine faces in the returning Old Trafford crowd who enjoyed a Sunday night thriller in the sun?
There were great celebrations at Old Trafford and others enjoyed the game via streaming
And have you seen the numbers who watched the match on one of the best streaming services that are revolutionizing watching county cricket?
Lancashire reported a total of 589,000 online views over the four days, with 65 to 70 percent being 18 to 34 year olds.
Truly this year’s County Championship was a remarkable success story and the Roses match is the best example yet of the rich pure cricket entertainment it offers. The new conference system also leads to a classic race for seats in the First Division. Long may it reign…
England does things the right way
To be back at Lord’s for England training on Monday for the first time since Covid has changed the world was a joy, as was seeing the beautiful new Edrich and Compton Stands up close. MCC always manages these things well and the old soil has never looked so good in the sun.
But some restrictions are still in place, and the press conferences — a concept that was reviled this week in light of Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal from the French Open — are still taking place on Zoom.
Ollie Robinson, who is about to make his England debut, spoke very well before the match
But it must be said that an admittedly old-fashioned way of sports people communicating with the public can still work, at least in cricket. Two players who will make their debut in England on Wednesday – Ollie Robinson and James Bracey – spoke exceptionally well for the first Test, with confidence, excitement, anticipation and an absence of clichés.
The England cricket team is doing many things right these days. Producing young cricketers who are just as impressive off the pitch as they are on the pitch is another example.
The Hundred will provide opportunities for the women’s game
It’s 50 days until The Hundred starts and, as regular readers will know, it’s not a date I’ve circled on my calendar.
But the skepticism I have of the ECB’s decision to gamble so much of the game’s future on an unnecessarily new format does not extend to the women’s game, which rightly deserves equal billing and TV coverage. gets.
Kate Cross is excited about the opportunities The Hundred will bring to women’s cricket
When I spoke to Kate Cross and Alex Hartley, who are doing so much these days to promote women’s cricket in both old and new media, I was struck by how excited they were about the opportunities The Hundred will bring.
Not least the fact that their Manchester Originals will start it all a day before the men against the Oval Invincibles. The eyes of the cricketing world will be on the women’s game. That’s at least a hundred games, I’m looking forward to watching.