England v Pakistan, 2nd T20I, Cardiff September 6, 2010

'Ignorance is no excuse' - Broad


Stuart Broad believes that the same professionalism that helped England to victory in the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean back in May has enabled them to keep their focus amid a torrid week for world cricket, but says that international cricketers have only themselves to blame if they allow themselves to be drawn into corrupt practices.

With the eyes of the world focussed on Sophia Gardens for all the wrong reasons, following a week of newspaper allegations surrounding the Pakistan team and the recent Lord's Test, England overcame a "slight hiccup", in the words of their captain Paul Collingwood, to chase down a modest target of 127 with 17 balls to spare in the first Twenty20 in Cardiff. It was the team's first outing in the format since overcoming Australia on a memorable afternoon in Barbados four months ago, and while the circumstances of this contest were far from ideal, the end result was pleasing nonetheless.

"We've been very focused on what we have to do on the pitch," said Broad. "You can get distracted by everything going on. But at the end of the day, that doesn't help you bowl the ball and hit it out of the park. Speaking personally, I've kept myself pretty well away from it. I've tried not to read too much or get myself too involved in it, because I want to focus on these two Twenty20 games here.

"After the Twenty20 World Cup, last night was a good statement that we want to take this team forward," he added. "It would be easy for us to sit back and say 'we've won a Twenty20 World Cup, and that's brilliant'. But last night saw a determination, everyone hurling themselves around in the field, to win and carry this streak on. We showed a lot of character to come back from five down (for 62), with the game looking a little bit iffy."

Broad, whose career-best 169 in last week's fourth Test was quickly overshadowed by the spot-fixing furore that erupted at the close of that third day's play, insisted - with good personal justification - that he had no sympathy for the situation in which the Pakistan squad now found itself.

"I'm sure for the Pakistan team, there's everyone following them around and there's a lot of hype around them at the minute, and that would be difficult to deal with. But at the end of the day, that's not our problem," said Broad. "There are always distractions in international cricket because that's part of being an international sportsman. There are probably more than most this week, to be honest, but that's why as players you've got to be able to shut things out and focus on what you've got to do."

Nor did he believe that any of the team had any excuse for not being aware of the threats posed by illegal bookmakers - not even the teenager Mohammad Amir - seeing as Broad himself had had the dangers drummed into him from the age of 19, when he first became part of the England set-up.

"I don't know what other boards do, I can only speak as an England player," he said. "But the ECB are very regimented in the advice they give us, because that's the responsibility that they have to take to make sure every player is educated. I don't think any player could ever have an excuse - 'I didn't know', or 'We weren't educated'.

"We get hand-outs, handbooks. With the amount of books I've got from the ICC at home, full of information, there's certainly no excuse as players. As soon as you come into the England team, the ICC get hold of you; you're put through this video, which is very watchable, very clear - it takes you back to when you were five or six, that's how clear it is. It outlines everything you're not allowed to do, everything you are allowed to do."

Broad conceded that the newspaper revelations had left the teams somewhat distanced from one another off-the-field, but he added that there had not been a lot of interaction beforehand, because the nature of modern-day sport doesn't allow much down-time for socialising. "I think that's gone out of the game a little bit, because obviously you don't want to give away little secrets about what you are planning," he said. "It's only after a series that you tend to have a drink with them and chat."

Nevertheless, Broad did regret not having had the chance for a proper catch-up with his former Leicestershire colleague, Mohammad Asif, whose bowling had been one of Pakistan's few high spots on their tour of Australia at the beginning of the year. Given everything that has now transpired, the chance to pick his brains on Australian conditions has surely been and gone.

"It's a difficult position and hard to comment on," he said. "He's a lovely fellow, I got on really well with him and he's obviously a world-class bowler. He is very open and willing to help and was a good overseas player for the six weeks he was at Leicestershire. But obviously these allegations have come from the News of the World and it will be interesting to see how it curtails and when it curtails.

"He is a seriously talented bowler," added Broad. "I only played about three games with him, I think. But he talks very much about getting close to the stumps and bowling wicket-to-wicket, and he was fantastic to learn from. Throughout this series I was saying to him 'at the end of this series I would like to have a chat with you about Australia' because he got a six-for (6 for 41) in Sydney and how he bowled over there. But with him being left out of the squad now, it's probably not going to happen."

For the time being, England and Pakistan have six more contests to get through before the end of the tour, starting with Tuesday's second Twenty20, and while the spot-fixing storm shows no sign of abating, Broad predicted that both sides would seek to immerse themselves in the remaining matches.

"We've just got to go out there and try to win," he said. "In international sport you get distractions all the time, but at the end of the day that shouldn't affect how you deliver a ball or how you hit a ball. That's one of the nice things about being a sportsman is that once you cross that white line, it is a freedom, you are away from everything in life really. You are playing cricket and that's an escape from everything. That's as clear as you get really."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Vinod on September 8, 2010, 6:00 GMT

    Opinions from the 'great saint' Staurt Broad of all the people. Its hilarious!!! He should be out long back due to his indecent bahavior on the field. And we all know how he is in the team and his 169 against a 'fake' opposition. And i wondered who is approaching Stuart Broad for opinions. If anyone from the opposition team, Paul Collingwood would have been by far a better choice. He knows his profession better than anyone else in the side. May be Paul will just brush aside saying he is not supposed to give any opinions on that. But not Stuart Broad, please.....Now, dear Cricinfo Moderators, please dont ignore this comment at least :)

  • Guru on September 7, 2010, 19:14 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding - Do the ICC manuals say that you can throw the ball at a batsman intentionally? If he went through those manuals / videos, I am sure he would have known that. Having known that, he still did it. That makes him unqualified to lecture about not doing things, prohibited in the ICC manuals. Again, I mentioned that the majority would not have a problem if those comments had come from Strauss or Collingwood. No need to drag in SRT here. Let's be balanced.

  • Guruprasad on September 7, 2010, 18:59 GMT

    A lot of comments seem to digress from the contents of the article, and instead, focus on Broad-bashing, which appears to be the favourite time-pass of this season. Stuart Broad being the son of a match referee, he getting hit for 6 s's by Yuvraj, his hurling the ball at Haider and his petulance, are all irrelevant to this article. The point is, Broad's prior record does not make him ineligible to express his thoughts on this issue. What he says is indeed true. It is good to know that he is aware of his role and responsibility as a player. It is just that these statements do not carry much credibility coming from him, because of the perception he has created for himself by virtue (or is it vice) of his on-filed behaviour.

    I hope the Pakistani players suspected of match/spot fixing are treated with a mix of sternness and consideration. Let the actions serve as an example for all the current and future cricketers, that cricket and cricket must be clean and seen to be clean.

  • Big on September 7, 2010, 18:42 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding, I am sure the pudding is great in your mum's basement in Yorkshire, but you are arguing against facts - which (let me tell you) is wrong for an ENGLISHMEN (get it?). I am all for punishing the match fixers (be it a bookie or an international cricketer) but your arguments shows your ignorance and a blind eye towards what little brat has been up to. I am sure (as others have suggested) that ICC literature probably has a special page for little spoiled brat. He must have a special ICC hand-outs and/or handbooks that says "If your father is an ICC match referee, then you can throw balls at the batsmen, appeal without looking at umpires, excessive appeal, etc.

  • Dummy4 on September 7, 2010, 18:34 GMT

    how can anyone equate indiscipline with match fixing? Stuart Broad is not the best behaved cricketer in the world but he is completely justified in saying that being 19 is no excuse for not knowing Match Fixing laws. and for those bringing up the 36 run over. That happened in 2007 and Broad is still in cricket now, having sealed an Ashes series for England in between. So lets just move on

  • Jason on September 7, 2010, 16:05 GMT

    @TheGuruji, actually Stuart Broad is able to speak on these matters as hes an international cricketer, and as such is privvy to the literature that the ICC sends out, unlike you who are a sad individual who probably still lives in his mums basement. The fact is that Broad did nothing more that comment that it 'Ignorance' of the rules is not a justification for any match fixing. As far as im aware broad has only ever thrown a cricket ball at someone once, and he was reprimanded by the match referee. If half the posters actually read the article rather than the headline they might actually understand what Broad was saying, and if the article was published under the name Sachin R. Tendulkar, they would be saying how correct he was.

  • zahir on September 7, 2010, 15:55 GMT

    Ignorance is no excuse! But ignorance of the laws and spirit of the game is an excuse. Hurling a ball at a static batsman to fracture his finger or hurling abuse is officially encouraged by ICC rules! Those who live in glass houses should not through stones. Even a professional like Gavaksar, an accepted great of the game holds the view that Broad gets away with a lot because of his dad's position. In my view it represents a conflict of interest. But ICC sleep's over potentially explosive situations until they blow up in their face. Darrel Hair, match fixing are examples. I feel the Broad father and son link is an accident waiting to happen unless ICC see sense. In a way it is unfair for Chris too because he might ultimately be the victim of a development in which he may not necessarilly be the villian. So it is best for him to keep his trap shut and let his game do the talking.

  • S on September 7, 2010, 15:54 GMT

    Yes Broad hurled a ball at Pakistani player but he was fined for that. Yes he shockingly escaped untouched few times. Yes Staurt Broad is no saint but he has a point though. Those Pakistani fans who're still in denial and coming down heavily on Broadl, c'mon now. Few of the Pakistani players are ruining this game for the entire world and they must be punished. Imrankhan said it very well that the roots of such crimes are in the Pakistani society. Corruption, lies, propaganda, lack of proper education and always denial to accept the truth build their Player's Psyche. And as Khan said such Micro issue in every front of the life in Pakistan turns in to Macro issues like match fixing at the global level. The PCB is at fault here more then players. I would say the PCB should be punished heavily as well..

  • Dummy4 on September 7, 2010, 15:33 GMT

    Ha ha ha. Mr. Stuart Broad was probably "ignorant" about the spirit of the game, and that players are not allowed to assault other players on or off the field.

  • raghvendra on September 7, 2010, 15:32 GMT

    Too many posters mentioned him beng it for six sixes and that is one of the most funny thing. Just becuase he was hit for six sixes, he has lost right to speak his mind,, ROFL.. (though I personally don"t like Broad at all and he shld have been the one of the last persons to make this comment looking at his track record). But still what those sixes got to do with all this matter. Funny indeed.

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