Stuart Broad offers up some spicy Ashes banter, claims last Aussie victory doesn't count

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As far as England cricket star Stuart Broad is concerned, Australia's Ashes victory in 2021-22 doesn't really count due to the prevailing COVID-19 restrictions in place at the time. According to a report from the Daily Mail on Thursday, Broad put a massive asterisk next to Australia's Ashes victory in 2021-22, claiming that it should not count in his mind due to the COVID-19 restrictions that made it impossible to function normally during the series. Although Australia managed to secure a 4-0 win on their home turf against England, Broad believes that the visitors were unfairly disadvantaged by the strict coronavirus regulations, which required them to be kept in a lengthy quarantine and a COVID-protected bubble throughout the tour. "In my mind, I don't class that as a real Ashes," Broad said. "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."

Broad's controversial jibe has ignited the possibility of an explosive clash between the two teams, as Australia is set to visit England this year in the first Ashes since the "Covid series." England has recently undergone a resurgence as a Test force, thanks to the efforts of captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendan McCullum over the past year. Broad doesn't believe that Australia can counter England's new ultra-aggressive style. "If we can get them playing in a slightly different style, they could make mistakes, and that would be brilliant for us," Broad said. "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."

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