Jul 10, 2020
Stuart Broad has described himself as “frustrated” and “angry” at having been left out of England’s side for the first Test of the series against West Indies.
Broad, the second highest wicket-taker in England’s Test history, said he found the decision “difficult to understand” and suggested he had sought clarification on his future from Ed Smith, the national selector.
“I’m not a particularly emotional person but I’ve found the last couple of days quite tough,” Broad told Sky Sports shortly before play resumed on the third day. “To say I was disappointed would be an understatement; you’re disappointed if you drop your phone and the screen breaks.
“I’m frustrated, angry and gutted. It’s difficult to understand. I’ve probably bowled the best I’ve ever bowled the last couple of years, I felt it was my shirt. I was in the team for the Ashes and going to South Africa and winning there.”
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Broad was England’s leading wicket-taker in their previous Test series – he claimed 14 wickets at a cost of 19.42 apiece in South Africa – and in the Ashes series of 2019, when he claimed 23 wickets at 26.65.
“I spoke to Ed Smith [the national selector] last night, he said he was involved in picking the 13 and this side was picked purely for this pitch,” Broad continued. “I wanted clarification on my future going forward and I was given pretty positive feedback going forward.
“So yes, I was frustrated in the fact that I felt like I deserved a spot in the team.”
Despite that frustration, Broad accepted the bowlers picked in front of him also deserved their places and accepted that the current competition for places was probably a healthy thing for England.
“You can’t argue the bowlers walking on that field don’t deserve to play,” Broad said. “Everyone deserves to play. Chris Woakes, Sam Curran were bowling really well and probably deserve to be in the XI. It’s just annoying when it’s not you that’s in that XI. Very rarely do you get guys fit and available for each Test match. That’s where selection has been tricky.
“It’s great to see strength and depth in the fast bowling ranks. It’s the only way that England cricket moves forward and gets better. And with high competition in squads it keeps the standard high. Everyone is under pressure for their spots.”
Broad’s omission broke a run of 51 consecutive home Tests dating back to 2012.
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