‘Is that an excuse for 4-0?’ – Mitchell Starc hits back at Stuart Broad’s ‘void Ashes’ claim as pre-Ashes verbal volleys continue
Stuart Broad had labelled the 2021/22 Ashes as ‘void’ due to strict quarantine regulations. With the 2023 Ashes due to begin under a month, Mitchell Starc has responded to Broad’s statement.
Broad had recently complained about the harshness of the last Ashes tour in an interview with Daily Mail. England lost the 2021/22 Ashes 4-0 in Australia at a time when strict restrictions were in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“I don’t class that as a real Ashes,” Broad had said, referring to the mental toll the pandemic and its consequent restrictions had taken on the players.
“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,” Broad had said around a month back.
Several people have responded to those comments by Broad over the last few days, with Starc being the latest addition to the list.
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Starc said, “The Poms had the pool, the gym, they were in a resort on the Gold Coast, they trained at Metricon (now Heritage Bank Stadium), weren’t confined to their rooms and had their families there.
“Was that really quarantine? They were still allowed to play golf on tour. Is that an excuse for 4-0? Dunno. It was a pretty good series to be a part of.”
Starc is not the only one to have refuted Broad’s statements. Last week, Nathan Lyon had said that Broad’s opinions were his own, and that he had been trying to get under their feathers.
Even James Anderson, Broad’s long-time bowling partner, had labelled Broad’s statement as the latter’s “coping strategy” with the defeat.
This back-and-forth verbal battle continues as both teams prepare for the 2023 Ashes series that starts on June 16 in Edgbaston. The four subsequent Tests will be played at Lord’s, Headingley, Old Trafford, and The Oval.
Australia last won an Ashes series away from home over two decades ago, in 2001, when they defeated England 4-1. However, their last tour to England in 2019 was a memorable one where they drew the series 2-2 to retain the Ashes.