Jimmy Anderson admits Stuart Broad’s retirement will ‘leave a big hole’ after England bowler’s fairytale Ashes farewell
Jimmy Anderson has admitted Stuart Broad’s retirement will ‘leave a big hole’ in the England team following the bowler’s fairytale Ashes farewell.
Broad, 37, announced the end of his cricket career after the third day of the fifth Test against Australia at The Oval.
In the perfect finale, Broad took the wickets of Todd Murphy and Alex Carey to seal a 49-run victory for England that levelled a captivating Ashes series at 2-2.
Anderson, 41, who has been Broad’s new ball partner for many years in the England side, ushered him through an Australian guard of honour on Sunday after the retirement announcement.
He wrote in his Daily Telegraph column: ‘On a professional level, Stuart leaves a big hole for me.
Jimmy Anderson (right) has admitted the retirement of his close friend and bowling partner Stuart Broad ‘leaves a big hole’
Broad’s glittering career got the fairytale finale it deserved when he took the final two Australian wickets at The Oval to seal an Ashes series draw
‘We did not realise it at the time but when we were young, we were in direct competition, so raised our standards to compete.
‘When we started playing together we complemented each other’s game, how we were trying to take wickets and what we could do to help that.
‘As the years have gone on, we have bought into our respective games. I have been his coach and he has been my coach.
‘Whether in practice or in a game, having him stood at mid-off watching my action and saying, ‘Maybe you are running in too quick,’ or ‘Have you tried doing this or that?’ Was a huge help and that is something I will definitely miss.’
Anderson, who has no plans for his own retirement despite an underwhelming Ashes series, revealed that the England team presented Broad with a boxed bottle of champagne with personal messages from each player.
‘It’s hard to know where to start. Thanks for all the memories, I owe you so much,’ was Anderson’s message to his close friend.
Anderson said Broad told him he was retiring over a coffee ahead of the third day, with the news ‘not a surprise’ considering captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum had to talk him out of it a year earlier.
Anderson is third in the list of all-time Test wicket takers on 690 and Broad is fifth on 604
Anderson had to usher Broad through a guard of honour by Australia ahead of the fourth day
‘It was the perfect way to go out,’ Anderson said of Broad’s perfectly scripted final few deliveries.
‘It was nice that we did not go out at the same time together as well. We have always been put in a bracket as a partnership but he is in his own right one of the best bowlers England have ever produced, so he deserved his own send-off.’
But things might have been very different, with Broad admitting on Wednesday that Stokes was preparing to take him out of the attack for Mark Wood as England sought the final two Australian wickets on Monday.
Broad explained: ‘Stokes had said to me: This will be your last over because I’m going to get Woody on with the extra pace.
‘So, for that last ball of the over, I was running in knowing that was my last ball in professional cricket and actually my legs were a bit jelly-like.
‘I was just saying to myself: Hit the pitch as hard as you can, try to get the ball to move away, don’t bowl a floaty half-volley for your last ball in international cricket. And that’s why I was like ‘oh my God, he’s nicked it!’