Stop the Broad Bashing

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stuart-broad For my money, Stuart Broad is an extremely likeable cricketer and has a heart the size of Mother Teresa’s. But for others he is the spawn of Satan, spouting his mouth off at every opportunity without the talent or prowess to warrant such actions. His bizarre pointing tactics during England’s humbling by South Africa in the World Twenty20 Super Eights were clearly a satanic act. Such work of the devil is not appreciated by the cricketing authorities with the ICC, after clarification was sought by the South Africans, deeming it as “not an appropriate action.”

You’d think a line would be drawn under the incident – today’s news is tomorrow’s chips paper etc. But NO, the Broad bashing continues . . . he’s a pretty boy, looks like a 12 yr old girl, a poor man’s David Beckham, a scrawny gobshite, big-headed, over-appealing , umpire disrespecting, substandard test cricketer, who boasts an extremely modest bowling average of over 40 after a weighty 17 tests. Other cricketers, like Ponting, KP, Roy or Hayden have been hated on before but for completely different reasons . . . because they were just SO good. Maybe the ego of a cricketer that matches their record is warranted but this isn’t the case with Broad. Some might even suggest that he’s only got where he is now courtesy of his last name.

Enough of the Broad bashing! How misinformed and petulant can all these haters be? Stuart Broad is a young, aggressive, hungry test cricketer who simply does not tolerate losing. Who wouldn’t want that kind of cricketer in their side? Sure he’s had a few setbacks in his short international career. Imagine trying to pick yourself up after being brutally dispatched for 6 sixes in an over by Yuvraj Singh in the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup. Imagine starting your Test career on a road of a track in the subcontinent, plugging away for little reward. Tough times indeed but Broad’s proven that he is a cricketer with a steely determination and a good head on his shoulders by overcoming such a rocky start.

His career has been a steep learning curve so far, an average of around 40 certainly is high and unacceptable for a test bowler over the long term. The tide has started to turn, however, and the only way is up for Stuart Broad – he really came into his own at the start of 2009 with the tour of the West Indies being the standout. He can now arguably be called England’s “go-to” bowler.

Given the flatness of those decks in the West Indies, it’s incredible that he managed to end the series with figures as good as they were. 12 wickets at 30 is very impressive in comparison with the other England quicks on show. And it wasn’t just a case of cleaning up the tail. Amongst his victims were Gayle, Sarwan (twice), Nash, Ramdin and Chanderpaul.

His average has dropped from 45.23 in India in December 08 to 37.95 after the home Windies series, that’s a very good turn in the right direction. His figures really weren’t helped by his debut being made in Sri Lanka 3 years ago on a deck which saw alot of runs scored where he took 1-95. If you take that 1 Test match out his average drops to 36.6 which really isn’t as disastrous as many like to make out.

He’s only played 17 Tests as well, so his average will start to drop rapidly if he continues to show the rapid development that he has shown in the past few months. Great bowlers have struggled early in their careers as well. Glenn McGrath’s average after 8 Tests was 43.68, Shane Warne averaged 49.92 after 8 Tests, Andrew Flintoff averaged 66.42 after 10 Tests, Malcolm Marshall averaged 39.00 after 8 Tests, Michael Holding averaged 45.50 after 7 Tests, Richard Hadlee averaged 41.61 after 8 Tests and still averaged over 35 after the same amount of Tests as Broad. Just proves that you don’t have to have a lightening start to have a long and successful Test career.

By no means am I saying he’ll have a career in the same bracket as the names above, but it’s far too early to write him off.

By consistently bowling with aggression at 93mph + and batting at an average of over 30, despite the England long-tail tradition (someone that previously was not even considered an all-rounder), Stuart Broad most definitely deserves his place in the Test side and has a bright career ahead of him.

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  1. says

    I heartily agree, he’s among my favorite young players and rapidly improving. Looks like he’s becoming a Freddie sort of bowler to whom skip turns when nothing goes right. And he’s a good batsman as well, hopefully he turns into a fine all rounder and becomes better than Mitchell Johnson.

  2. Leon says

    You do make some good points but I would say that he has way too much attitude (I don’t mean aggression, I mean lack of discipline and respect), especially for a young kid and for me, that’s what so unlikable about him. And I very much doubt he’ll average (consistently bowl) at 93, despite a recent upward spike in his bowling speed. It’s a known fact that speed guns aren’t standardised around the world and there’s some doubt in my mind about the ones used for the ashes. Even Graham Onions was getting into the 90-93 sort of range wasn’t he?

  3. David Siddall says

    Very valid points there Leon. He hasn’t got his speeds as high in the ashes as at the time of writing. There is some petulance there but he definitely is a great prospect for the future. He did get unfair criticism throughout the Twenty20 world cup and put his heart into his cricket. Like how he squared up to Johnson in the 3rd test.

    Can he fill the Flintoff void come the end of the Ashes? . . . probably not but we can dream hey

  4. Priyabroad says

    Supeb article by u David. I agree with u more than 100%! It only adds to his credit how he handles all these VERY unfair critisisms n can still keep going with his great work. Cheers mate 😀


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