By Chris Devine
Stuart Broad admitted England were blown away by the support they received on a dramatic final day of the Investec Ashes Series.
The fifth and final Test ultimately ended in a draw as bad light forced a premature halt with England, five wickets down in their second innings, needing just 21 to win from four overs.
As Alastair Cook’s men - aided by a sensational 62 from Kevin Pietersen - moved ever closer to their victory target of 227, so the volume built as a sell-out crowd cheered every run louder than the last.
Speaking exclusively to ecb.co.uk as England celebrated a 3-0 overall triumph, Broad said: “The atmosphere was outstanding today. We knew the crowd would get behind us but I don’t think any of us in the changing room expected it to be quite as loud and quite as passionate.”
The Nottinghamshire seamer added: “It’s been a very special day for us, to come away with a 3-0 series victory.
“Everyone is obviously extremely proud and every guy can look each other in the eye and know that we’ve put our bodies on the line for the team. That’s what makes these moments so special.”
Ian Bell was the undisputed man of the series after striking hundreds in each of England’s wins and a total of 562 runs across all five Tests.
However, Broad, who contributed 22 wickets at 27 together with valuable lower-order runs, was keen to highlight the team’s collective effort.
“Obviously, Ian Bell has been outstanding for us … but as a team everyone’s contributed; I think that’s what we can be really proud of,” he added.
“We will go to Australia (for this winter’s reverse rubber) with a lot of confidence - there’s no doubt about that.”
For now, England can simply celebrate a job well done, having secured their third Ashes triumph in succession by a convincing margin.
“It’s about enjoying today, enjoying this evening and realising we’ve made a lot of people very happy today,” reasoned Broad.
“The English public always get really behind us and they love the success that we’ve had, I think.
“Australia had the better of us for many a year throughout the 1990s and early 2000s so to have won an Ashes series 3-0 is something this group will never forget. It’s been a very special occasion today.”