Broad '100% fit' for World Cup
Stuart Broad has given England a welcome boost ahead of their World Cup campaign by declaring that he has fully recovered from the stomach injury which prematurely ended his Ashes campaign.
The paceman was forced to sit out the last three Tests as well as the entire Twenty20 and one-day series in Australia after tearing an abdomincal muscle in the second-Test win at Adelaide in early December.
Although "devastated" at not being able to play a full part in England’s triumph Down Under, he insists he is ready to make up for lost time after working his way back to full fitness.
Broad told ecb.co.uk: “The recovery is going very well. I’m at 100% now so I’m excited about getting back on the park and playing.
"It feels like it’s been a long time since I’ve played and I’m excited about the World Cup and having an opportunity to perform.
“It’s part and parcel of sport being injured at times and I’m disappointed to have missed out in the last three Ashes Tests but also very proud to have played in two of them.
“I’m looking forward to capping off a fantastic winter so far for the lads with a good performance in the World Cup.”
It is welcome news for team director Andy Flower and captain Andrew Strauss following the enforced withdrawal of Eoin Morgan due to a fractured finger, whilst there are still minor doubts over Graeme Swann, Tim Bresnan, Ajmal Shahzad and Paul Collingwood ahead of England’s first game against the Netherlands in Nagpur on February 22.
Broad acknowledges that the absence of Morgan, who averages a shade over 38 in 61 one-day internationals, is a massive blow.
He added: “It’s a huge loss for us and we’re obviously very disappointed he’s not getting on the flight.
"He’s been vital in our success in the last 18 months in our one-day internationals and he was going to be crucial for us in the subcontinent with the way he plays spin, but his replacement (Ravi Bopara) now has an opportunity to come in and do a good job.”
Despite winning the Ashes in Australia for the first time in 24 years, England ended the tour with a 6-1 defeat in the Commonwealth Bank Series.
Broad, though, believes that the team are still a force to be reckoned with in one-day cricket and points to their success in the World Twenty20 in 2009 as proof of their credentials.
He said: “We had a lot of players out injured (in Australia) and it’s important that we still remember we’re a very good one-day side. We go into the World Cup full of confidence and there’s a lot of excitement at being involved in it.
“I think breaking the the duck at the ICC World Twenty20 in the Caribbean was a big one for the England team as it gave us a lot of belief.”
The England squad returned from Australia on Tuesday and will fly out to Bangladesh tomorrow, but Broad refutes suggestions that the players may be jaded ahead of the six-week tournament.
“Being involved in a World Cup is a huge mental boost so I don’t think there’ll be any tiredness in that respect," he said.
"Physically, there’s a few niggles floating around but I’m sure everyone will be fit and firing for when the World Cup games get under way.”
When asked whether winning the World Cup would be the crowning achievement of a magnificent 12 months, Broad said: “Winning the World Cup would be up there.
"We’ve never won the 50-over World Cup so it’s certainly on the England team’s radar.”
Stuart Broad was speaking at the launch of the Broad Appeal, aimed at raising awareness following the death of his stepmother Miche from Motor Neurone Disease last year.