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Stuart Broad has accused Ed Smith of not rating him when he was national selector and said he had to keep finding ways to prove him wrong.
Smith was made redundant last month, three years to the day he was appointed, in a shake-up of selection that ended with head coach Chris Silverwood being given full control of team affairs.
Smith and Broad fell out in Barbados in January 2019 when he was not picked for the first Test of the series against West Indies. Their relationship was strained further when Broad was again left out for the first Test of a series against the same opponents at the Ageas Bowl last summer.
It prompted him to say he was “frustrated, angry and gutted”, comments that did not go down well with the then head selector. Broad proved his point, going on to take his 500th Test wicket as he enjoyed his best ever summer with 29 wickets at 13.41.
“He (Smith) probably didn’t rate me as much but I kept finding a way to prove some selection decisions wrong. I really disagreed with getting left out in Barbados where it’s one of the best places to bowl as a tall fast bowler and there are a few occasions where I have felt a bit disgruntled and didn’t have the clarity of communication that I would like,” said Broad.
“I am very open to being told things - have a discussion face to face and then have a beer and move on. That’s how I like to do things. Maybe Ed and I didn’t have that sort of relationship. Maybe he didn’t rate me overly highly but I just had to keep proving that view wrong.
“Last year I was disgruntled because the selectors had said the first Test team of the summer will be our best team. So for someone who’d been through the Ashes successfully, been through South Africa successfully and stayed fit I felt it was my shirt and felt I was in the best team. So to be told I suddenly wasn’t in the best team with my record in England etc that’s what upset me.”
Broad and James Anderson will be named in Silverwood’s first squad on Tuesday and both insist they want to go to Australia for one more Ashes tour this winter.
Broad will turn 35 in June and accepts he might be rested to give experience to younger bowlers this summer with Ollie Robinson and Craig Overton to be named in the squad for the New Zealand Tests but he warned England Test caps should not be “given out free and cheap”, adding that you have “to earn your stripes”.
“I think going forward is it realistic I’m going to play every Test? No. But if the communication is done well then you understand the reasons for it and you understand why you might miss certain games to be fit for X games,” said Broad, who was speaking at Hague Primary School in Bethnal Green at an event for England sponsor Lifebuoy and Chance to Shine.
“My aim this summer is to be fit, available and fresh for seven Test matches. I don't think many could argue against Jimmy and I being in the best bowling attack in England, but if you need to get experience and overs into bowlers that is what it is.
“But Test caps aren't there to be given out free and cheap. We work very hard for the opportunity to play Test cricket and you have to earn your stripes. I had to earn my stripes to get the new ball. I got dropped six or seven times before I started settling into Test cricket..it's the highest honour to receive that Test cap.”
Broad will be part of an advanced group of Test cricketers who will arrive in Australia ahead of the multi-format players, who will be playing in the Twenty20 World Cup, and is looking forward to passing on advice from his three previous Ashes tours.
“There is a lot of responsibility in the senior players to settle the younger guys into Australia, to arrive with no fear, embrace the country,” he said.
“Ashes away series can be seen as the end of an era can't they? But I see it being in the middle of our journey as a team, I see it as the middle of my journey and am in no way looking at it as a 35-year-old player thinking I could walk off at Sydney.
“No, I want to keep going, I feel really strong as a bowler, I want to keep influencing this team in a positive way, helping bowlers around me ... and Jimmy is a big inspiration to me. I want to follow his suit, I feel fit, fresh, ready to play a part in Australia - whether that's just three Tests or one, I just want to be there and have a big influence on it.”