Stuart Broad plays down Ashes ‘War’, says ‘it’s a game of cricket’

Stuart Broad, England paceman, is refusing to rise to Australia opener David Warner’s declaration of “war” as Joe Root’s men prepare to fly out to defend the Ashes.

cricket Updated: Oct 26, 2017 17:35 IST
Devarchit Varma
Devarchit Varma
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Stuart Broad,David Warner,The Ashes
Stuart Broad will hold the key to England’s chances in the upcoming Ashes series, starting November 23. Australia and England have won 32 series each and five of them have been drawn.(Twitter )

With their teams engrossed in a war of words as the Ashes 2017-18 approaches, the latest to join the exchange is senior England cricketer Stuart Broad, who has claimed he does not need to ‘hate’ Australian cricketers.

Broad has tried to set an example of being calm and composed ahead of England’s tour of Australia for which they leave later this week — a remark in contrast to the explosive comments made by Australia vice-captain David Warner.

(Read | How Steve Smith was chosen as Australian cricket captain in an Adelaide bar)

Warner had stoked a controversy when he asserted during a radio interview that he would have to find ‘hate’ towards England cricketers, and had termed the Ashes series against England as a ‘war’.

On his part, Broad has tried to douse the fire. According to the Daily Telegraph, Broad says, “I don’t have to hate them. It’s a game of cricket, not war.”

Broad was treated no less than a villain when he toured Australia for the last Ashes in 2013-14, wherein England were blanked 0-5. Australia head coach Darren Lehmann had urged the country’s cricket fans to not give Broad an easy time Down Under, after he had refused to walk back despite being dismissed off Nathan Lyon during an Ashes 2015 Test.

(Read | Darren Lehmann says he may ditch Australian cricket team’s ODI, T20 coach role)

“Actually I loved that trip, I liked the pantomime villain stuff. As a cricketer it was as close as you get to being a footballer playing away from home. (Lehmann) needed something to unite the public and media behind the Australian side and he chose me,” Broad said.

Broad recalled a lesson that he learned while reading former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson’s book.

“Because I knew (the hostility) was coming, I prepared for it. I read Alex Ferguson’s book about how he’d once told Patrick Vieira, who’d had dog’s abuse from the Old Trafford crowd, ‘they wouldn’t be abusing you if they didn’t respect you’,” he said.

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He added, “Whether Aussies meant it that way, that’s how I decided to take it; they were only doing it because they were scared of me.”

‘England need to have belief’

Broad has urged his side to have belief when they take on Australia in the series starting November 23, at The Gabba in Brisbane.

“When you go to Australia you have to have a genuine belief in your team that you can win. And I have that. I believe we can win. The (Andrew) Strauss-led side that got to number one in 2011 was the most efficient, disciplined group I’ve ever played with, but this team now is the most exciting,” he expressed.

“Moeen (Ali), Jonny (Bairstow), Stokesy: you don’t know what will happen. But something will. True, we’re not as consistent. But we can win games out of nowhere,” Broad concluded.

First Published: Oct 26, 2017 13:19 IST