Stuart Broad is looking optimistically towards a new era in English cricket after a narrow loss to South Africa curtailed their World Twenty20 campaign.
Set 197 to win by the AB de Villiers-inspired Proteas, England fell just three runs short of completing a second record run-chase in the space of three days.
While Thursday’s win over Sri Lanka was built upon Alex Hales’ towering century, this chase was very much a team effort.
Nottinghamshire opener Hales was top-scorer once more with 38 as every dismissed batsman, along with the unbeaten Tim Bresnan, registered double figures.
Attentions now turn towards the English summer, very much a fresh chapter following a winter Ashes tour that saw the end of both Andy Flower’s tenure as team director and the international careers of Graeme Swann and Kevin Pietersen.
“We’re disappointed to be out of a World Cup but we can hold our heads high with some of the performances we’ve put in,” said Broad.
“If we had got out the group there’d have been a lot of surprised people, no doubt about that. So yes, we’re disappointed, but we did some pretty good stuff with the squad we had available.
“It’s been a really tough winter and Australia was a really tough tour.
“It’s been draining and, I’ll have to be honest, I’m looking forward to a bit of a break.
“It’s going to be new era of English cricket that April, May period…it’s always been lined up as that.
“There’s going to be a decision on the coach so there might be a few changes in the next two months or so. Change can be exciting from time to time.”
The break Broad is relishing may be a little longer than he wants, as the seamer now prepares for a period of rehabilitation to cure tendonitis in his right knee.
“I’m probably going to be unavailable for the start of the season, one-day cricket-wise to sort my knee out,” he explained
“It’s pretty sore and needs sorting out, and in international cricket you can’t perform when you’re carrying an injury.”
Broad was left to rue some fielding errors from his team but chose to focus more extensively on de Villiers’ brilliant 69 not out from 28 balls that ultimately took the match agonisingly out of England’s reach.
“We’ve come up three runs short and there’s some pretty clear ways we could have stopped those runs,” he added.
“We missed chances and South Africa outfielded us, no doubt about that.
“But sometimes you have to hold your hands up. That knock from AB was as good as you’ll ever see.
“The whole game was pretty much reliant on AB’s knock.”
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