Broad keeps it in the family
England all-rounder Stuart Broad will turn to his father for Ashes advice this winter - if only to stop him claiming family bragging rights.
Chris, a former opening batsman, enjoyed great success in Australia, scoring three centuries in as many Tests and winning the player of the series award on England’s triumphant 1986-87 tour.
That remains England’s last victory Down Under, but hopes are high that Stuart and the present generation can do what none of the previous five touring parties have managed by beating the Australians on home soil.
Although Stuart was still in nappies when Chris was scoring 162 at the WACA, 116 in Adelaide and 112 at the MCG, he admits he has had plenty of reminders since - not least from his father.
“My dad won the Ashes in Australia when I was a few months old, but I’ve been watching videos of that since I was born,” Stuart said.
“I’ve grown up with Ashes cricket and it would be huge (if England won). I could shut my dad up for once.”
Stuart has established himself as a key member of the England attack in recent years, and played a central role in their Ashes win on home turf last summer.
Just 24, he has already played 32 Tests to Chris’ 25, but Broad Jnr knows it would be foolish not to tap into his father’s experience of what is widely regarded as the toughest tour in cricket.
“It’s great to have his advice,” added Stuart. “It’s a long tour. It’s a tough tour. You’re not just playing against the Australian cricket team; you’re playing against the whole country.
“I’ll certainly be talking to him about playing cricket in Australia because he succeeded very much over there.
“It’s a really good relationship - it’s very relaxed. He gives me the space that I need and I know that he’s always at the end of the phone when I need advice.”
While Stuart can call upon his experience of playing club cricket in Melbourne at the age of 17, life will be considerably tougher this winter in front of notoriously hostile and partisan Australian crowds.
Rounded enough to expect a rough ride at some point during a tour that will last more than three months, Stuart accepts he is lucky to have at close quarters a father who has endured the fickle fortunes of life at the top of his sport.
“He had ups and down in his career as well,” Stuart told BBC Radio Five Live’s Sportsweek programme. “He had success in Australia but he also had times when it was tough going and he got a bit of stick.
“It’s great he’s still involved in international cricket, being a match referee. He sees the game up close and how it has changed
“He does appreciate the pros and cons of the sport and he’s always good to talk to, whether you’ve had a good or a bad day.
“He has always been a great father because he has never been in my face. He has never been pushy. He just lets me crack on and learn things of my own accord.
“He has been a fantastic role model for me. I’m very fortunate with the family I’ve got around me, and it certainly helps when I go out on the pitch.”