Stuart Broad, England’s second leading wicket in Test cricket, has become embroiled in a row with journalist Jonathan Liew on Twitter over the contents of a column the latter had written for the Guardian.
In the article, headlined ‘England retreat into safe and familiar embrace of Broad and Anderson’, Liew argued that despite Joe Root’s side winning both their home Test series this summer, they missed opportunities to prepare for upcoming overseas challenges in India and Australia.
“Peer under the bonnet and you will find a team where half of the top six failed to pass 50, where 24 of their 41 wickets were taken by their two oldest bowlers,” he wrote, with both facts pertaining to the 1-0 series victory over Pakistan. “Was this England’s summer of discovery, then? Learning that, yes, Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad are very good in English conditions? If this series was an online course, you’d ask for your money back.”
In a series of tweets, Broad labelled the article “clickbait” and called Liew, who was named Sports Columinst of the Year at the 2019 Sports Journalists’ Association awards, “desperate for attention”.
Broad responded “very good point well made” to the following tweet from Chris Dent: “They are our best two bowlers. Am i missing something? They tried to drop @StuartBroad8 and he just proved them wrong yet again. And why cant we just enjoy seeing our greatest ever bowler whilst we can instead of trying to shove @jimmy9 out the door? [sic]”
Won 3 out of 4 with 2 Washouts. I like winning, so I don’t class that as “Wasted.” 2 Series Victories
— Stuart Broad (@StuartBroad8) August 26, 2020
“We have to remember a lot of these articles are clickbait,” Broad added. “Desperation for attention, rather than writing good pieces. In England, we seem obsessed by the next chapter instead of enjoying the successful one.”
In separate replies, directly to Liew, Broad said: “Won 3 out of 4 with 2 Washouts. I like winning, so I don’t class that as “Wasted.” 2 Series Victories
“Bowlers Historic Milestones, Crawley 267, Buttler MoS, Buttler/ Woakes incredible match winning partnership, Stokes all round ability, Sibley monster knock & many more positives. NAH, I’ll find my different Angle. [sic]”
😂 spot on 👌🏼
— James Anderson (@jimmy9) August 26, 2020
James Anderson, who sits ahead of Broad in the list of England’s all-time leading wicket-takers, called the latter tweet “spot on”.
In response, Liew suggested that Broad’s actions were part of the reason England didn’t experiment as much as they otherwise might have. Having been left out of the first Test, Broad declared himself “angry” and “frustrated” in an interview with Sky Sports Cricket and latter said he considered retiring due to the snub.
I’d like to have seen Mark Wood get more of a chance, and Jofra with the new ball. Which they might have done had you not thrown your hissy fit. Fine to disagree! But that doesn’t make it clickbait. And – genuinely – well bowled this summer.
— Jonathan Liew (@jonathanliew) August 27, 2020
“I’d like to have seen Mark Wood get more of a chance, and Jofra with the new ball,” tweeted Liew. “Which they might have done had you not thrown your hissy fit. Fine to disagree! But that doesn’t make it clickbait. And – genuinely – well bowled this summer.”