Injury woe spurs Broad on
Stuart Broad is hoping to convert the “heartbreak” he suffered over the winter into a successful and uninterrupted summer for England and Nottinghamshire.
Broad’s joy at England’s Ashes success was tempered somewhat by the fact he played no part in the final three Tests after tearing a side muscle at Adelaide.
His World Cup was undermined by illness and then ended prematurely by injury. What was initially thought to be a torn abdominal muscle turned out to be a broken rib.
Broad admits it took him weeks to overcome the Ashes disappointment, in particular, but the enforced rest and rehabiltation have refreshed his appetite ahead of another busy season on home soil.
“It was a frustrating winter; they were two huge tournaments to get ruled out of,” he said.
“When I got ruled out of the Ashes I was heartbroken. It took me weeks to get over the disappointment of it. Time is a great healer, and it’s part and parcel of being a sportsman – you have to accept injuries when they come along, especially being a fast bowler.
“I’ve been pretty fortunate in the five years I’ve played for England in that I’ve picked up no major injuries.
“To get two in the space of six months is very disappointing. But I’m also very fresh for this summer – and we’ve got an exciting summer ahead with the two World Cup finalists coming to town.”
Broad refers to Sri Lanka and India, whom England will meet in three and four Tests respectively as well as in limited-overs cricket.
They will provide a stern examination of England’s credentials, regardless of home advantage, and Broad is hoping to channel some of this pent-up energy into performing against two of the world’s best sides.
“I’ve not played as much cricket as everyone else this winter,” added the 24-year-old, who has been focusing on strengthening his side and core, especially after losing 6kg due to illness in the sub-continent.
“It was a stop-start winter for me but I’m working on getting that area strong again and this summer I’m hoping I can play consistently – making sure I can get through a summer’s cricket.
“I feel fresh and ready to start again and it’s crucial we hit the ground running in the international stakes.”
Despite the international schedule and the need to stay fresh, Broad is keen to play for Nottinghamshire as much as possible as they look to defend their LV= County Championship title.
His commitment came in the form of a new three-year deal this week, albeit one that will kick in only if he loses his central contract with the ECB.
Broad made significant contributions in the two games he managed last summer, taking eight wickets against Somerset at Trent Bridge and 11 against Warwickshire, including 8-52 in the second innings, to set up victories which proved crucial to their championship triumph.
“I was delighted to get that eight-for at Edgbaston,” he said. “I only played two games but the fact that I picked up 19 wickets in those two games helped me feel a part of it.
“I came down as often as I could when we weren’t on England duty. It’s a great changing room, we’ve got the best coach on the domestic circuit in Mick (Newell), and every time I come back it’s very welcoming.
“After a championship win you’ve got to come back and be doubly as good next year because teams will come here wanting to knock us over. It’s important that we don’t let that happen.
“We’ve talked about that horrible word ‘complacency’, and that’s certainly not going to be around this season.”