International cricket returned in the form of a Test series between England and West Indies which began on Wednesday (July 08) at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. However, when during the toss England’s stand-in captain, Ben Stokes, revealed the playing XI, it saw the absence of veteran English pacer Stuart Broad.
The decision to drop Broad in the Test at home conditions surprised everyone. It was the first occasion in the last eight years that the Nottingham-born had been left out of England’s Test XI in a home game. Broad had a streak of 51 consecutive games which ended when he was axed from the playing XI in the opening Test.
Stokes did explain the reason behind Broad’s omission from the playing XI. The Christchurch-born said that Mark Wood, who replaced Broad, adds the extra dimension in the squad along with Jofra Archer.
“We feel that we can have an extra dimension with the pace of Wood and Archer. To be fair, he (Broad) wished me very well on my big day. Very proud, but my main focus is to get the win. Three lions on the chest, walking out to play for your country, no bigger motivation,” Stokes had said during the toss.
Now, Broad has dropped his reaction over his non-selection. On day two of the first Test, Broad told Sky Sports that he was “frustrated” and “angry” when he was informed about his exclusion from the playing XI.
“I’m not a particularly emotional person, but I’ve found the last couple of days quite tough. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement; you’re disappointed if you drop your phone and the screen breaks,” said Broad.
“I’m frustrated, angry and gutted. It isn’t easy 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,” the 34-year-old added.
Broad, who is 15 scalps away of 500 Test wickets, stated that he deserved the place in the team.
“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. 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,” Broad added further.
Broad has so far played 138 Tests for England and taken 485 wickets with 8/15 being his best. The Nottinghamshire bowler is the fourth seamer and second English speedster to grab that many scalps in Test career. Overall, he is at the seventh position amongst leading wicket-takers in red-ball cricket.