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Stuart Broad accepts ECB decision to rest him

The ECB announced on Wednesday it had declined a request from Broad and his club to tweak the scheduled availability of centrally-contracted players.

CRICKET 12/04/17 15:11
Stuart Broad accepts ECB decision to rest him

Stuart Broad hoped the England and Wales Cricket Board would allow him to play in Nottinghamshire’s second match of the new season but has accepted he must rest instead.

The ECB announced in a press release on Wednesday morning that it has declined a request from Broad and his club to tweak the scheduled availability of centrally-contracted players.

It will stick to the timetable already published – which includes a rest this week for both Broad and his Test pace partner James Anderson after each started the Specsavers County Championship campaign with Notts and Lancashire respectively.

Broad was hoping that the fact he bowled only 21 overs in his club’s three-day win over neighbours Leicestershire might bring a rethink, but both he and Anderson will have to wait before returning on April 21.

Following the ECB’s decision, he confirmed in a talkSPORT interview that he discussed the matter with ECB director, and his former Test captain, Andrew Strauss – and has accepted the situation.

England's James Anderson, right, and Stuart Broad, will not play in the next county match (Martin Rickett/PA)
England’s James Anderson, right, and Stuart Broad, will not play in the next county match (Martin Rickett/PA)

“It is a tricky one …,” said Broad. “Straussy won’t mind me saying I spoke to him, (and) I wanted to play this week. I felt in a really good rhythm and wanted to carry that on.

“But I think as a player sometimes you do get in that short-term mindset – ‘I want to play now, I want to play now’ – and the ECB very much control workloads throughout a whole year.”

His availability for Test matches this summer and beyond remains the priority.

Broad added: “They’re going to want their bowlers come Boxing Day, come the Sydney Test in the new year.

Director of cricket Andrew Strauss is sticking to his guns (Adam Davy/PA)
Director of cricket Andrew Strauss is sticking to his guns (Adam Davy/PA)

“So I can certainly see an argument for both sides.

“At the end of the day, they’re my bosses and they have a huge guidance on what we do. They had a set plan for their England players, and are going to stick to [it].

The ECB statement read: “The England management have declined a request from Nottinghamshire for Stuart Broad to play in their Division Two fixture at Durham.”

Neither Broad nor Anderson is likely to be required by England until the start of a seven-Test summer, at Lord’s in early July.

But Strauss said: “We have to recognise the demands of the international programme over the next 12 months, with seven Tests in 10 weeks from July followed by another seven in Australia and New Zealand over the winter.

Stuart Broad during a photocall at Trent Bridge (Mike Egerton/PA)
Stuart Broad during a photocall at Trent Bridge (Mike Egerton/PA)

“We have to manage all our players and especially our bowlers accordingly.

“Both Stuart and Jimmy are committed to their counties and keen to play as much as possible. But equally they recognise both the challenges and demands to come over the summer.

“A plan for availability for the early-season fixtures has been put together in consultation with the players, and counties were made aware of the likely schedule back in January.”

Strauss sees no compelling reason to change tack.

He added: “Stuart bowled 21 overs for Nottinghamshire at Leicestershire, and Jimmy bowled 42 for Lancashire at Essex, so it makes sense for us to stick to the original plan of them taking a week’s break before returning for the third round of Championship fixtures.

“They will also be available for further Championship matches as well as the early stages of the Royal London One-Day Cup.”