‘We can hold our heads high’, says Stuart Broad

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

“We’ve had a lot of positives come out of this World Cup but we can hold our heads high with some of the performances we’ve put in”

Despite losing two games and only winning one, England Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad has announced that his team can leave the World Twenty20 with their heads held high.

Broad attributed his team’s poor performance in the tournament to a long and arduous schedule, where they played two back-to-back Ashes series against Australia.

“We’ve had a lot of positives come out of this World Cup but we can hold our heads high with some of the performances we’ve put in,” Broad said. “If we had got out of the group there would have been a lot of surprised people. We’re disappointed but we’ve done some good stuff with the squad available to us.

“We lost key men through injury. We can hold heads up high and at the end of the day T20 is an entertainment business and I don’t think anybody is going to leave the ground today disappointed with nearly 400 runs scored, sixes, fours, and catches.”

Many of the England players will now represent their respective county teams as the season gets underway next weekend.

“It’s going to be a new era of English cricket isn’t it?” Broad said. “It has been a tough winter. We’ve been away a huge amount of time so there are some fantastic opportunities available for players in the summer. We don’t know the shake-up of the Test side but you know the opportunities will arise and that’s exciting for players to be involved in. I expect to see some excellent performances this summer, guys really desperate to play, hungry to succeed for England and we’ll have to play some good cricket to beat Sri Lanka and India.

“It’s an exciting time to be part of English cricket. Change is exciting from time to time. It’s been a really tough winter, we’ve not had a huge amount of success. Australia was a really tough tour, back-to-back Ashes over the past nine months is as tough as it gets for a cricketer, not just on the field but off it too with all the hype that comes with Ashes cricket. So it has been a draining winter and I’ll have to be honest, I’m looking forward to a bit of a break come Tuesday.”

When asked whether he will continue on as Twenty20 captain, Broad said: “I don’t know, there’s going to be a decision made on coaching staff so there might be a few changes in the next two months or so. I’m probably going to be unavailable for the start of the season in one-day cricket to sort my knee out.”

Prior to the World Twenty2o, Broad had been diagnosed with patellar tendonitis in his knee.

“I need a rehab period on my tendonitis, which is generally about an eight-week period so whether I take just four weeks in April to play in May and then take a couple of months after the season I don’t know but it’s got to the stage where it’s really sore and I need it sorting out,” he said. “You know in international cricket you can’t perform at your best when you’re carrying an injury. We’ve managed it pretty well but it’s in the hands of the medical staff and a bit of negotiation with the head coach when that’s decided.”

Broad was also extremely disappointed to have fallen just three runs short of beating South Africa on March 29.

“We’ve come up three runs short and there’s some pretty clear ways we could have stopped those three runs,” Broad said. “We didn’t particularly field well, but that can happen in these conditions. We didn’t have the one guy going to get the Hales-like knock like he did the other day or 60 or 70 you realistically need in these sorts of chases.

“But sometimes you have to hold your hands up and that knock from AB de Villiers is as good as you’ll ever see. He hits the ball 360 degrees and targeted the short boundary with fantastic success. We tried to go for yorkers but in these conditions it’s unrealistic to get your yorkers consistent with a bar of soap. He took it away from us in those last few overs. If we’d been chasing 170 it would have been pretty gettable.”

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