- Stuart Broad, 37, retired as England’s second-highest ever Test wicket taker
- His retirement came at the end of a thrilling Ashes series on home soil
- Mary Earps won the 2023 BBC SPOTY Award ahead of Broad on Tuesday night
It has been a long time since Stuart Broad has been allowed to truly indulge himself at Christmas.
And so, as his former England team-mates tuck into their Christmas dinners in the knowledge that a gruelling five-Test tour to India awaits in January, Broad may even allow himself an extra roast potato or two.
After all, the gruelling days of charging in to bowl with the Three Lions on his chest are over. Broad announced his shock retirement from the sport last summer, but still had time to lead England to an Ashes series-levelling victory in the fifth Test at the Oval before hanging up his bowling boots.
Few will forget his contribution in an England shirt. Broad finished with a remarkable 604 Test wickets to his name, second only in the fast bowling rankings to great friend Jimmy Anderson, who, at 41, continues to defy Father Time himself.
For Broad, smashing his final ball in Test cricket for six before claiming an emotional last wicket with his final delivery in the game was the perfect ending. One that every great sportsperson deserves but one that so few are often afforded in reality.
Stuart Broad will be looking forward to his first Christmas with his family since retiring from cricket
Broad took a wicket with his final ball in Test cricket at the climax of a thrilling Ashes series
Broad’s was a send-off that most sporting legends aspire to, but few every actually achieve
But now there will be no more Christmases away from home. Over the next week you’re more likely to find Broad wearing a Santa hat than his iconic headband.
And rather than plotting ways to get the better of Virat Kohli & Co, Broad’s main concern will be nailing the Christmas dinner. He, his fiancée Mollie King and daughter Annabella will welcome the whole family to their house on the big day.
‘I’ll be cooking, chilling out, eating the cheese,’ joked the 37-year-old. ‘Boxing Day Tests, in particular, are one of the most famous you can play in, they’re great.
‘But you wake up on Christmas morning, generally the other side of the world, you have a bit of training, get back and have a team Christmas lunch and then go back to your room and try to find Home Alone.
‘Home Alone will still be getting watched but it might be getting watched with a glass of red, which I’ve not been allowed before.’
Broad’s achievements on the field were recognised with a second-place finish at last night’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.
Lionesses goalkeeper Mary Earps topped the public vote with world champion heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson completing the top three.
While both those athletes’ attentions now turn to replicating those successes in 2024, Broad has to figure out exactly where life away from the game he loves so dearly takes him.
Broad was beaten to the Sports Personality of the Year Award by Lionesses star Mary Earps
The 37-year-old former bowler claimed that he wanted to control his retirement from cricket
‘Cricket is my greatest hobby so I want to stay involved in the game somehow,’ he said. ‘I don’t know exactly what that will be as of yet but I love talking about the game, I love the insights and diving into why things are happening and how things are happening.
‘Coaching… it’s quite hard to know exactly what route I’ll go down because it was a bit of an unplanned move away from the playing side.
‘Ultimately, I’m 37 now but I definitely felt like I had another couple more years left in me. But the most important thing for me was controlling.
‘I wanted to finish in an England shirt, I wanted to finish at the top. I didn’t want to start that downward spiral. England versus Australia is the pinnacle for me and I wanted to finish at that time.’