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October 2009
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Benj Moorehead: Broad Experience

October 26th, 2009 by Benj Moorehead in England, International, Interview, South Africa, Test cricket


“I think in South Africa it’s more a case of third-slip wickets rather than mid-wicket wickets.” Talking cricket with Stuart Broad for half-an-hour is a deliciously pure exercise, and it’s one he seems to enjoy just as much as his lucky interviewer.

Cross-seam, angles, wide yorkers, bowler-protection, enforcement – all talked about with great enthusiasm and yet this was the last of a day of interviews Broad was doing as he launches Bowled Over: my side of the story, his autobiography. You walk out the room feeling that this guy relishes the multiple skills of his sport, and that nothing will shake his focus from them.

Broad was talking all things fast bowling for an upcoming issue of TWC in which he will reveal his top tips for that particular art. Advice is one of Broad’s main strengths, and not just giving it. “It’s a crucial skill to filter advice,” he says. This comes from someone who, from a very young age, will have been told what he needs to do so many times from so many different sources.

Within 30 minutes Broad reels off the names of Mushtaq Ahmed, Duncan Fletcher, Glenn McGrath, Peter Moores, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Frank Hayes (his school coach) and his parents – all from whom he has taken advice, some little nuggets, others more sweeping. He says he will “always listen” but ultimately “you need to know within yourself what your strengths are.”

The clear-minded Broad (still only 23) seems a magical sponge – able to absorb the best bits and reject anything that will adversely affect his game. He did, it’s true, briefly take on a more chest-on bowling action that seemed to upset his success. But Broad quickly reverted to his natural approach and ended up delivering the most important spell of the Ashes.

His ability to filter advice and ally it with an inner conviction in his own beliefs is ideal for a bowler who was in the England team within a year of making his first-class debut and whose role has flittered between, in his own words, “new-ball bowler, first change, enforcer, stock”.

Now to make it count once more on those third-slip wickets.

Benj Moorehead is editorial assistant of The Wisden Cricketer

Posted in England, International, Interview, South Africa, Test cricket | 7 Comments »

7 Responses to “Benj Moorehead: Broad Experience”

  1.   Winsome says:

    Ummm….. his autobiography?

    Is this a wind-up?

  2.   Mick Jones says:

    Broad is essentially rubbish with the ball. He had one good spell on a mine-field at The Oval.

    He’ll get found out this winter.

    He’ll get no runs at 7 either.

  3.   JimboNotts says:

    Apparently not…could more appropriately have gone with the title ‘Broad: From Foetus to First Class’.

  4.   Jonas131415 says:

    It’s great to see England produce a good, young fast bowler. Too often bowlers come into the England side in their late twenties when they only have a few seasons left. I’m looking forward to seeing him bowling in South Africa, which should suit him better than the batting friendly pitches he has mostly bowled on so far. Unlike Mike above, I believe Stuart will be a success in South Africa and, if he remains fit, will become an England ‘great’ in the years to come. Hopefully England will decide what role he should play in the side because he has been used in so many different roles.

    Bit early for an autobiography though!

  5.   Paddy Briggs says:

    Stuart Broad… Excellent but raw (still) natural talent + Glenn McGrath (similarly raw when he began, similarly tall, similarly right arm) = best fast bowler for years in England. Get on the phone to Pidgeon Andy F…

  6.   Gumbo says:

    Mick Jones
    Broad is ‘essentially rubbish’ and got wickets at The Oval because it was a ‘minefield’? How come no other seamers came close to having as much success as he did on that track then?

  7.   Som says:

    An autobiography of a 23-year-old whose lone legitimate claim to fame is copping six sixes in an over of a World Cup event! You have sold the poor kid down the river!

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