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Ashes 2023

Ollie Robinson: It’s going to be so sad not having Stuart Broad with us in the dressing room anymore

Ollie Robinson and Stuart Broad in conversation on the field
Ollie Robinson by Ollie Robinson 7 minute read

Ollie Robinson, in his final 2023 Ashes column, on what it was like to share a dressing room with Stuart Broad and his reflections on an exhilarating series.

It was a special week and a special few days for Broady in particular. Everyone was on edge with the rain over the last two days, we were desperate to draw the series and give Broady the farewell he deserved. Once we started so quickly on the Monday we felt like we were always going to get the job done and it was just amazing to send a legend of the game off in that way.

Stuart first told us on Saturday morning. He started off by resigning as chairman from ‘Pig’ – a keepy uppies football game we play. He was chairman and he’d decide who got the letters at what time and if there were disagreements he would have the last say. He started his retirement chat saying, “It’s been a long time serving so many of you boys playing Pig,” and I think a few lads were thinking, ‘What is going on here?’ and then he said, “This is going to be my last game of cricket.”


A few of us welled up a little bit. It wasn’t overly expected I suppose. A few of us were hopeful that he would carry on but he’s adamant that he’s very content with that decision. He’s going to be missed a lot by the whole dressing room.

I’m very close to him. Any problems that I have, I go straight to him and I go straight to Jimmy. They’re the two that I will always go back to – cricket-related, something from my personal life, anything. And they’re very good at dealing with it. They’ve both been through almost everything you can think of in their careers. Broady is someone that you might not see as the most emotional character but you know that he cares about you because of the effort he puts in. I spoke to him about a few things; we’d have a conversation and I wouldn’t hear from him, or we wouldn’t talk about it for a few days, and then he’d come back and tell me he’d be thinking about me and that he’d been thinking about the problem in a certain way.

He has an amazing positive energy. The thing that I love most about him is his dry, witty humour. He’s very quick. Anytime a batter comes in from being sledged or anything like that, he is very quick to jump on the wit. He’s just so funny to be around.

I think we saw that with Jonny Bairstow’s stumping at Lord’s. Broady was straight on the field and there wasn’t a better man suited for that occasion, just giving it to the Aussies and telling them, “That’s all they’re going to be remembered for.” When they came in, Rooty said, “You’re literally the perfect guy for this occasion.” And he just got stuck into them. It was all over the media and we were laughing about it for days. He’s just such a good competitor. He always has his teammates’ backs on the field and off the field.

But the thing that people don’t see is the man behind the curtain. In the changing room, he is the changing room. Broady and Jimmy, they’re making people laugh the whole time and I think that’s what’s going to be so sad for us – not having that anymore. The cricket was almost a secondary benefit of that dressing room atmosphere. To actually have him in the dressing room was really special and it was amazing to play with him for as long as I did.

He’s unique in the sense that he is not a huge trainer. He’s not someone like Jimmy who tries to perfect his skills every day at training. He’s someone who really thrives on the big occasions and gets himself going as much as he can for those big moments in games. He’s almost taught me a different skill set to Jimmy – his competitiveness, how he thinks about getting batters out.

For me, he’s been crucial in bowling around the wicket to left-handers, which he’s probably the best in the world at doing. Last year I had a narrower angle in my run up from around the wicket and now I come in much wider and that’s all work I’ve done with Broady.

He’s very stubborn, but in a good way. When he has that plan, he will stick to it for as long as possible; and I think that’s what makes good bowlers great. Just knowing that their plan is going to work at some point and sticking with it for as long as possible. A lot of bowlers change their plans after a few overs, get whacked for a few boundaries and then go back to the original plan. Broady and Jimmy are definitely stubborn in their own ways and stick to what they believe will work. History will say it’s worked pretty well for him. He’s a legend of the game and his stats speak for themselves.


The end of a series is always a special time for us as a squad. After the game we had an hour to ourselves where it was just the players and support staff before we were joined by family and friends. We sat down as a whole group and sent off Broady, Moeen and our physio Steve Griffin and just gave our thanks, going around the room speaking about our time together and what it’s meant to play with them.

Jimmy spoke really well about Broady, and Woakesy spoke really well about Mo. Baz and Stokesy are really keen on these moments because they care most about the memories, not necessarily the cricket. And I think those couple hours were the sort of times that if you asked the lads in years to come, they won’t be forgetting that in a hurry.

The Aussies left before we got a chance to have a beer with them but a few of them came out after and we saw them later so it was all good in the end. Jack Leach actually wrote a poem about the series. It was a special few hours in the changing room.


It’s a weird one coming off such a high during the Ashes to then be sitting around waiting for the next Test series. We don’t normally go this long without playing Test cricket. I said to Baz on day five at The Oval just how quick this series has gone. We were all building it up, waiting for it and it’s over now. For me personally, it didn’t go exactly how I would have liked it to go – I came into the series with the foot injury and was a bit rusty. And then I had the back spasm at Headingley as well. I’ve got a big training block now trying to get even better. I think this series has been another good learner about my skills and my body and I think India is going to be an even harder test. It’s about getting as fit and ready as I possibly can for that series. I just want to improve myself and be the best I can be between now and then.

We were actually a bit gutted at the end. We felt like 2-2 helped the bitterness from Manchester a little bit but still, we felt like we dominated the series and probably should have won if we’re honest. But at the same time Stokesy said how proud he was of the group and of how we were true to ourselves through the whole series. We went two-nil down against the number one team in the world, the world Test champions, and we stuck to our guns and came out even harder in a few games. That’s testament to Ben and Baz and the way they want us to play and it’s testament to the boys for sticking it out and playing that way. It made the series what it was and I think it was a series that’ll be spoken about for a long time.

After watching the 2005 Ashes as a 13-year-old boy, it was everything I thought it was going to be. It lived up to every expectation I had and every moment that I imagined. As a spectacle, it was unbelievable to be a part of. I’ve had friends message me about the series who have never watched cricket before and they loved every bit of it. That’s part of the reason why we play – to put bums on seats and make kids want to grow up to be us. This series has done that really well.

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