Stuart Broad is hoping he can follow in his father’s footsteps this winter, by shining in an England Ashes victory Down Under.
While the 27-year-old did feature in two Tests in the successful 2010-11 campaign – when England won a series in Australia for the first time in 24 years – an injury suffered at Adelaide forced him to return home early.
This winter he will be desperate to ensure he appears in all five games as England look for a fourth consecutive success over the Aussies for the first time since the 19th century.
And he will hope that he can play as influential a role as his father, Chris, managed in 1986-87 Down Under.
Broad senior scored 487 runs – including three centuries – at a remarkable average of 69.57 to earn the player of the series award.
Chris – now an International Cricket Council match referee – remembers the tour fondly.
“I think every cricketer has a purple patch and it happened to be my purple patch. I was just in the form of my life and the pitches were good,” he said.
“The challenge of an England-Australia contest was good, exciting and strong. I was just in the right zone and in the right place at the right time.
“As long as the team won, it didn’t matter who contributed but what happened has certainly written my name in the record books.”
But it was not just on the field that Broad senior enjoyed himself; the camaraderie among the squad – including the likes of Ian Botham, Mike Gatting and David Gower – meant their shared success was all the more sweet.
Broad said: “It was fantastic. I mean they were legends of their time and, as it’s proved today, their careers are there for all to see. They were fantastic players.
“I think Botham said it was his last major tour and most enjoyable tour of Australia and it certainly was because it was a win and I think any team to tour Australia and win it’s always going to be an enjoyable trip.
“It certainly will live long in the memory for all of the players that were on that tour.
“I think the main memory was the ball landing in Gladstone Small’s hands out at deep square-leg (for the series-clinching catch) and him throwing the ball up as high as he possibly could and then everyone running towards Phil Edmonds and Mike Gatting and just having a group hug.”
As his son found out during the opening Test of this winter’s series, the crowds in Australia can be boisterous. It is always a feature of an Ashes series and it is something Broad senior cherishes. But he insists that it is possible to blot out the noise once you are out in the middle.
“An England-Australia contest attracts a good crowd and is always a good series and people enjoy coming along to watch it,” he said.
“To be perfectly honest a full house of 25,000 or a full house of 90,000 doesn’t make a huge difference. It’s still a loud noise and atmosphere to play in front of.
“You say 90,000 people and it’s a wow factor but as you walk out to bat, bowl and field your concentration is on the ball and what goes on around you doesn’t really come into focus very much.”
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