Stuart Broad has no qualms in not playing every Test for England saying his and James Anderson’s role in the current setup is similar to the one legendary Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs was entrusted during his final years with the Premier League club.
Giggs, one of the most decorated footballers in Premier League history, retired at the age of 40. Broad, 34, is hopeful that Anderson (38) and him replicate what the Welsh footballer did during the twilight phase of his career.
“In Ryan Giggs’ last few years at Manchester United he wouldn’t play every game but he’d have a big impact at certain times," Broad told ESPNCricinfo. “I’m sure it was made very clear what his role was in the side. If that means that Jimmy Anderson and I get rested at certain times then that’s much easier to take."
Broad made his red-ball debut for England in 2007 and has since played 146 Tests and taken 517 wickets at an average of 27.71. It’s nearly 14 years since he first appeared in Test whites for his country but the passion is still there and now, he wants to help the youngsters too.
“I still want to be around to help and guide bowlers through the Test match. We’re all part of a unit wanting to get the team better and better. But if I had a choice I’d want to play all seven," Broad said.
“It’s nice to be able to share my experience. Peter Moores calls it the sexy stage of your career: you know what you’re doing, you don’t have too many bad days because if you bowl a bad ball you know why you’ve bowled a bad ball. You’re also sharing all your information on how to be competitive, how to grab momentum, how to take a stride forward in a game," he added.
Closer home, Broad is taking inspiration from how England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has managed Anderson, the most prolific fast bowler in Test history.
“I look at Jimmy aged 38. Three years ago I’d have thought no chance I’d get anywhere near that. Now I can sit here and think why not play and enjoy it? The ECB has looked after Jimmy really well in the last few years. Whenever he’s had a niggle or an injury they’ve rehabbed him back and given him the chance to play more cricket. Why wouldn’t I want the same opportunity? Keep enjoying it, keep learning and keep winning games for Notts and England," he added.
However, Broad did admit frustration at being dropped rather than rested throughout his career. “But there’s a difference between being rested and dropped. I feel as though I’ve had a career of being dropped and others have had a career of being rested. If I can finish my career with the games I miss being through being rested rather than dropped then I’ll be a bit happier," he said.