Stuart Broad has said he is in the “sexy stage” of his career and has likened it to the late phase of Ryan Giggs’ career at Manchester United. Although the senior fast bowler wants to play all of England’s seven home Tests against New Zealand and India over the next few months, he claims he will be fine if he and James Anderson are rested for a few games.
"In Ryan Giggs' last few years at Manchester United he wouldn't play every game but he'd have a big impact at certain times," Broad said of the Welsh footballer who played until the age of 40. "I'm sure it was made very clear what his role was in the side. If that means that Jimmy Anderson and I get rested at certain times then that's much easier to take.
"I still want to be around to help and guide bowlers through the Test match. We're all part of a unit wanting to get the team better and better. But if I had a choice I'd want to play all seven.
"It's nice to be able to share my experience. (Former England coach) Peter Moores calls it the sexy stage of your career: you know what you're doing, you don't have too many bad days because if you bowl a bad ball you know why you've bowled a bad ball. You're also sharing all your information on how to be competitive, how to grab momentum, how to take a stride forward in a game.”
Broad said he has been encouraged to keep going after seeing how well the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has handled Anderson in recent years. While Broad, 34, has himself played as many as 146 Tests, Anderson, four years older, is still going strong after taking 614 wickets in 160 Tests.
"I look at Jimmy aged 38. Three years ago I'd have thought no chance I'd get anywhere near that. Now I can sit here and think why not play and enjoy it? The ECB have looked after Jimmy really well in the last few years. Whenever he's had a niggle or an injury they've rehabbed him back and given him the chance to play more cricket. Why wouldn't I want the same opportunity? Keep enjoying it, keep learning and keep winning games for Notts (Nottinghamshire) and England.”
However, Broad has asked for better communication from the England management when it comes to leaving out seniors such as him for the odd game. "There's a difference between being rested and dropped. I feel as though I've had a career of being dropped and others have had a career of being rested. If I can finish my career with the games I miss being through being rested rather than dropped then I'll be a bit happier."
Featured Image: AFP/ Dan Mullan