Veteran England pacer bowler Stuart Broad denied making any rash decisions about his future in Test cricket after a poor and disappointing tour of Australia where the visitors trail 0-3 in the five-Test match Ashes 2021-22 series and have lost the Ashes urn as well.
Broad, who turns 36 in June, has featured in just one of the three Tests so far – the 275-run defeat in the pink-ball second game in Adelaide. England is playing for pride in the final two Tests in Sydney and Hobart, which will again be a day-night Test match. Their next red-ball series will come in the Caribbean in March where England will play three Tests against the West Indies.
Writing in the Daily Mail, Broad said: “Only playing once has made this a very disappointing trip – one that has not met my personal expectations. There is a long time between now and the tour of the Caribbean in March and I have never been one to make emotional decisions. So I’m not going to make any spur of the moment calls on my future.
Has it affected my hunger to play Test cricket? No. I must be ready for my next opportunity, whether that be in Sydney, Hobart or beyond. I feel fit, I’ve come back from the calf injury feeling strong and I’m taking wickets in the nets. That’s all I can do given the lack of tour games and the tight schedule.”
Broad, who made his Test debut in 2007, has 526 wickets in 150 Tests with a best of 8/15 at an average of 27.92.
This Tour Has Taken Its Toll On All Of Us: Stuart Broad On 3 Heavy Defeats And COVI Outbreak In England Camp
Not only have been England pummeled on the ground by Australia but off the field as well, they have been routed by a breakout of COVID-19 cases in their camp.
Australia defeated England by 9 wickets in Brisbane, 275 runs in Adelaide in the D/N Test, and then beat them by an innings and 14 runs, despite making just 276 runs in their lone outing with the bat. Debutant Scott Boland routed England in three days, picking 6/7 in their second innings.
Apart from this, England head coach Chris Silverwood, Pace bowling coach Jon Lewis, spin mentor Jeetan Patel and strength and conditioning specialist Darren Veness have all tested positive for COVID-19. Assistant coach Graham Thorpe will be leading the coaching staff in the fourth Test in Sydney.
Broad added: “This tour has taken its toll on all of us. Without sounding like I’m making excuses, we may be at the end of our mental tether with Covid. We are the only team that has played solid international cricket throughout the pandemic and our multi-format guys had already done 50 days in a bubble before they turned up here.
“We spent day two of the Boxing Day Test match testing for Covid and having guys moving out of their hotel rooms, away from their families, so they were no longer classed as close contacts. When you are faffing about with external stuff like that, it drags your focus away from where it needs to be. Now, preparation for the fourth Test is taking place with no head coach, no bowling coach, no spin coach, and no fitness coach in position. Both the energy and the mood in the camp is low.
“Unfortunately our displays have reflected our preparation,” he signed off.
The fourth Ashes 2021-22 Test begins in Sydney from January 5 onwards.