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Ashes 2023

‘I don’t class that as a real Ashes’ – Stuart Broad says he’s written off the 2021/22 Ashes as ‘void’

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Stuart Broad admits that the 2021/22 Ashes lacked “high level performance” and passion from the players because of the pandemic restrictions and that he considers it a “void” series.

England were thrashed 4-0 in the five-match Ashes on their last tour to Australia in 2021/22 as they finished the series one wicket away from losing it 5-0. Played under strict Covid-19 restrictions for the touring side following 18 months of bio-secure bubble life, there were plenty of reservations from the touring team ahead of the series, with then-England skipper Joe Root failing to commit to his selection initially due to the quarantine rules in place.

Jos Buttler too had commented that he would not travel to Australia if his young family was not allowed to join him in the country due to the tough border restrictions. Tim Paine, who was stripped of captaincy before the series , had took a jibe at the England team ahead of the tour, saying: “Well, the Ashes are going ahead — the first Test is on December 8 whether Joe’s here or not. They’re trying to get themselves the best possible conditions they can, but at the end of the day, we all are. It will be worked out above us and then they’ll make a decision whether or not they’ll get on that plane.”


Broad, who played three Tests on the tour, picking up 13 wickets at an average of 26.30, has stated that he does not view it as a “real” Ashes series in hindsight because players were not at the top of their game due to the cumulative toll of touring life during the pandemic.

Speaking to Daily Mail, he said: “Nothing was harsher than the last Ashes series. In my mind, I don’t class that as a real Ashes. The definition of Ashes cricket is elite sport with lots of passion and players at the top of their game. 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.”

The quick was later dropped for the subsequent West Indies series in the Caribbean following the Ashes, a move that made him contemplate retirement. He eventually made his England comeback in the 2022 summer and has grabbed 39 scalps from nine Tests since his return.

Broad, who currently has 576 wickets, will become only the second player from England to get to the 600-mark should he get there, but he admits that he is not thinking of records and is instead taking every wicket as a “great bonus” since his omission in March 2022..

“I don’t think about 600 wickets. It doesn’t bother me at all. Only because I got to that stage last year when I was so disappointed to be left out I thought I’d never take another wicket. So everything is a great bonus for me now.

“What I’m trying to say is whether I play one or five you’re not going to get an angry Stuart Broad talking about being dropped. It will be ‘we’re all in this together. We’ve got five Tests against Australia [in June-July 2023]. We will all be needed whether it will be talking one wicket or 20. So let’s get ready for that’.”

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