England stand-in captain Ben Stokes’ decision to overlook senior pacer Stuart Broad for the first Test of the three-match series has caused massive uproars and fury in the cricketing world.
Stokes opted for the hostility of Mark Wood as Broad was sidelined despite being one of the most consistent bowlers for England in recent times.
On the final day of the match, West Indies chased the target of 200 as English bowlers except Jofra Archer failed to make any substantial impact.
In retrospect, the criticism got even more intense as the viewers started pondering over the possibility of a different result if Broad was present. There’s no doubt his experience and mastery with the ball could have swung the game in England’s favour.
However, Stokes still believes otherwise. In a post-match conference, the all-rounder said that he does not regret leaving Broad.
“I don’t regret leaving Stuart Broad out, and we are fortunate to leave someone like him out. I would be upset if he didn’t show the passion he did in that interview, and he’s nowhere near done.
“If he plays in the second Test I hope he walks off with some wickets,” remarked Stokes.
The Christchurch-born further revealed the rationale behind his decision.
“We made a decision based around thinking pace was going to stand us a better place in the long game. Stuart is a fantastic bowler and he understands the reasons why.”
“If I was to regret that, I don’t think that sends the right message to the other guys I picked. Looking at the interview he gave I thought it was absolutely brilliant, to see the desire and passion that he showed,” he concluded.
Earlier, Broad had expressed his displeasure after missing the Southampton Test.
“I’ve been frustrated, angry and gutted because it’s quite a hard decision to understand. I’ve probably bowled the best I’ve ever bowled in the last couple of years. I felt like it was my shirt, having been in the team through the Ashes and going to South Africa and winning there,” Broad had said.