Stuart Broad dismisses Australia’s Ashes win over England as ‘a void series’

Stuart Broad is set to be part of England’s bowling attack this summer  (Getty Images)
Stuart Broad is set to be part of England’s bowling attack this summer (Getty Images)

Stuart Broad has stirred the pot ahead of this summer’s Ashes by saying that England’s 4-0 defeat in Australia in 2021/22 doesn’t count as a “real Ashes”.

The tourists narrowly avoided a whitewash last winter as Australia dominated to retain the urn.

The series took place during the Covid-19 pandemic and was significantly impacted by stringent protocols, with players unable to move freely and allowed only limited interactions with those outside of the team environment.

Broad feels that undermined the sporting contest, suggesting he had written off a heavy defeat as a “void series” as England prepare to host Pat Cummins’s side this summer.

“Nothing was harsher than the last Ashes series,” Broad told the Daily Mail. “But in my mind I don’t class that as a real Ashes.

“The definition of Ashes cricket is elite sport with lots of passion and players at the top of their game. Nothing about that series was high-level performance because of the Covid restrictions. The training facilities, the travel, not being able to socialise.

“I’ve written it off as a void series.”

England’s men haven’t won a Test on any of their last three visits to Australia, while the last series on English soil ended 2-2 in the summer of 2019.

Since the 4-0 defeat to Australia was sealed in January of last year, England have undergone a radical transformation in the longest format of the game.

The arrival of Brendon McCullum as head coach and installation of Ben Stokes as captain have imbued England with a freedom that has allowed them to win 10 of the 12 matches under McCullum so far.

The positive manner in which the hosts have played their cricket promises plenty, as a fine Australia bid to win an away Ashes series outright for the first time in more than two decades.

And Broad has warned the visitors that any attempt to emulate England’s cavalier style may play into their hands.

“It would be great for us if Australia try to take us on at our own game,” Broad suggested. “If we can get them playing in a slightly different style they could make mistakes and that would be brilliant for us.

“Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne and Usman Khawaja are all guys who like to bat time and accumulate. So if we can nibble away at them and just get them thinking, ‘Why are we not scoring quicker? Why are we not moving the game forward?’.

“I’d love Smith to dance down the track and sky one to mid-off early doors. That would be classic.”

The first Ashes Test begins at Edgbaston on 16 June.

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