Rob Steen
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Sportswriter and senior lecturer in sports journalism at the University of Brighton

Despicable Stu

Stuart Broad may revel in the Australian fans' hatred for him, but he should know that becoming a better person won't make him a lesser player

Rob Steen

September 25, 2013

Comments: 82 | Text size: A | A

Stuart Broad struck Shane Watson a painful blow on the head, England v Australia, 5th Investec Test, The Oval, 1st day, August 21, 2013
Stuart Broad: a touch of Jardine © Getty Images
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Forget Malinga the Slinger. Forget Junaid Khan. When it comes to terminating an innings with extreme prejudice, even Waqar Younis and Joel Garner must kiss the feet of Mariano "Mo" Rivera.

But for the inconvenient fact that he happens to be a baseball pitcher, we would probably be lionising the Panamanian with the canal-wide smile as the death bowler's death bowler instead of king of the closers. Instead of having 25 runs to play with, he often has one. No job in team sport carries quite so much quotidian pressure. The opening line of "Enter Sandman", the grindingly grim Metallica ditty that ritually accompanies his arrival from the bullpen, says all you need to know about that aptitude for silencing bats: "Say your prayers little one…"

Barring the small miracle the New York Yankees require to reach the playoffs, and hence prolong his matchless career, Senõr Rivera is savouring his final week in pinstripes. Sunday, which saw his final outing at Yankee Stadium, was Mariano Rivera Day. "This one's for you, Mariano" declared lead singer James Hetfield before launching Metallica themselves into a thundering "Enter Sandman". "Exit Sandman" proclaimed the cover of last week's Sports Illustrated. His shirt number, 42, will retire with him, a rare and richly deserved accolade - all the more resonant given that one of his inspirations was Jackie Robinson, sport's most famous No. 42.

Yet perhaps even more than the stats - with more than 650 saves (team victories preserved) he is incontestably the finest relief pitcher in major league history - Rivera will be remembered for his dignity. Tributes from rivals testify to that. Toronto's Blue Jays presented him with a carving of Kiviuq, a legendary Inuit. Even Dave O'Brien, the less than religiously impartial radio announcer for the Yankees' bitter rivals the Boston Red Sox, hailed this exemplar of competitive artistry as "a model of grace and class".

On Saturday, meanwhile, Lord's, that purported cathedral to gracious and dignified behaviour, was the stage for Glamorgan followers to vent their fervent and oft ferocious disgust for Stuart Broad, for whom the word "classless" might have been invented. Even if we disregard the natural tendency of supporters to taunt the opposition, not to mention the traditional inclination of Welshmen to despise English public schoolboys, it still says something horribly unflattering about a chap who has delivered not just one but two Ashes-winning spells that he should be held in such low regard.

As brave as Kapil Dev's stab was, the Test double of 5000 runs and 500 wickets remains unattained. Should Broad scale that peak of all-roundedness - a climb for which he is decently equipped in terms of both talent and age - posterity will face one of its greatest challenges. As things stand, even if Broad accomplishes such a remarkable feat, it is hard to imagine him arousing affection, let alone adoration. He doubtless knows this. It remains to be seen whether he gives a toss.

****

If not much unites the cold, cruel pitilessness of professional sport and its recreational brother-from-another-mother, the D-word flies highest among the exceptions. Without dignity, in victory or defeat, how can you even consider yourself a citizen of sportingkind? Being a good winner is just as important as being a good loser. Is there any bigger compliment one can pay a runner, fighter or bat-flinger than that they treated those twin imposters the same?

Granted, Rivera's impeccably dignified persona may be attributable in part to his shaky spoken English. He occupies that awkward and expansive terrain between needing a translator - witness sundry Japanese and Latino baseballers - and being fluent enough to discharge his clichés efficiently. Even so, while words are undoubtedly crucial to fostering perceptions of dignity and dignification, actions bellow - especially in this sound-bitten, quote-sodden age.

Return we therefore must to Trent Bridge in July, when Broad feigned innocence over a slip catch whose obviousness would have been plain to a Martian peering through the wrong end of a telescope. There is no need to reiterate the finer points of the omnipresent walking debate other than to remind ourselves that when he offed himself later in the series, scooting back to the pavilion as if in pressing need of a pee, there wasn't the remotest prospect of redemption.

Contrast Broad's customary outlook - the new DRS allocation might have been designed expressly at his behest - with that of Wayne Madsen, winner of the inaugural Spirit of Cricket Elite Award, named in honour of the late Christopher Martin-Jenkins and devised by those great British acronyms MCC and the BBC. The week after Broad's Emmy-worthy mime act, Derbyshire's South African captain feathered a delivery from Yorkshire's Steve Patterson and, despite being adjudged not out, decided to walk. The clincher, one assumes, was his subsequent matter-of-fact insistence that it had been a matter of purest principle.

 
 
Being Stuart Broad, playing "Stuart Broad", means acting the bully. Hence the bouncers, the big biffs and even bigger beefs - with the opposition, with umpires, with Hawk-Eye, with anyone who dares label him as anything but noble and habitually honest
 

Unfortunately - and we can surely forgive Madsen if he didn't weigh up the consequences - this may come back to bite him. Will national selectors see this as evidence of the right or wrong sort? Even in the DRS-free zone of the County Championship, every time he ponders whether or not he has nicked an outswinger, he'll remember that assertion of principle, and maybe shudder. How much worse would it look against Warwickshire this week if, with Derbyshire clinging to their First Division status by the edge of their fingernails, he was given out having held his ground a fraction of a second too long? Moreover, since many might well feel that he embarrassed one of their own (though a kinder view would be that he helped the vastly experienced Jeff Evans ensure justice was done), how many umpires will be a mite quicker to exercise their trigger finger?

Nothing, though, should dilute admiration for such fragrant honesty. In the context of a season dominated by some of the most lamentable umpiring and Machiavellian appealing in Ashes lore, CMJ wouldn't have quibbled with Madsen's award for a split-nanosecond. As someone who has already been entrusted with the leadership of a national XI, and presumably hankers to do so again, Broad would still do better to heed the example set by Senõr Rivera.

"Mariano Rivera may be the single most impressive performer and leader I have ever known," attested Dr Fran Pirozzolo, a psychologist who has worked for the Yankees as a mental-skills coach and performed a similar service for other athletes as well as assorted astronauts and Navy SEALS. "He is the exemplar that I point to when I discuss the mental attributes of champions." Would Broad like to be remembered like that? Or even half like that? The obstacles are visible and thorny.

Much as he resented that "enforcer" tag hung around his neck a couple of years back, being Stuart Broad, playing "Stuart Broad", means acting the bully. Hence the bouncers, the big biffs and even bigger beefs - with the opposition, with umpires, with Hawk-Eye, with anyone who dares label him as anything but noble and habitually honest. It is a role he appears eminently happy to play; it still strikes you as one he's been instructed to play.

But for how much longer? And if he does let up, if he does unveil a sliver of his inner nice guy, will that diminish his capacity to turn a match in half an hour? And if it does, does he possess - whether through a more diligent approach at the crease or a mode of bowling less likely to attract accusations of Big Time Charlieness - the wherewithal to adapt and compensate?

Promising as they do a stern examination of that apparently slavish devotion to unsmiling pantomime villainy and ruthless unscrupulousness, the coming months are likely to find Broad - and the England management - addressing those questions as never before. They will pursue him as the jeers rain down at the SCG and the MCG and he struggles to retain focus; they will dog him as he decides whether or not to turn the other cheek whenever his manhood is questioned on a Perth street, or a Melburnian threatens to empty a tinny of Coopers over his handsome head.

Not since John Snow felled Terry Jenner in 1971 has a Pom offered such an open goal to the patriotic and the sozzled. Not since Douglas Jardine has a Pom toured Australia knowing that every failing, no matter how minor or luckless, will stir nationwide celebrations. Nor is it wholly an insult to propose that Broad has a cell or two of Jardine in him: being loathed suits him just fine. It serves as fuel; it stokes the hunger to win; it heightens the possibility that opponents will lose their cool, nerve and/or marbles. And unless a match referee steps in, of course, he is entitled to sail as close to the wind as he wishes.

On the other hand, he could raise his sights, in which case he could do a lot worse than contemplate the salute to Senõr Rivera from his fellow Yankee pitcher, CC Sabathia. "Believe everything you hear about him, because it's all true. You always hear nobody can be that nice, nobody can be like him, nobody can shrug off wins and losses the way he does. It's unbelievable. I never met or played with a guy like that. If you want to be a better player or a better person, you watch him."

And as CC didn't quite say, being a better person doesn't have to mean being a lesser player.

Rob Steen is a sportswriter and senior lecturer in sports journalism at the University of Brighton

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Posted by   on (September 30, 2013, 17:06 GMT)

I can honestly say that this fair dinkum true blue Aussie will be cheering for Stuart Broad. I really hope he demolishes the bog average Aussie batting line up in front of him and I hope he does it with a smile.

Posted by jay57870 on (September 30, 2013, 4:13 GMT)

Rob - Life's not always fair. We often face a 'tragedy' of errors. Take Denesh Ramdin's catch that wasn't a catch. Replays show he did nothing wrong. Yet he got a 2-game ban by match referee Chris Broad for "conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game"! OMG! Now take Stuart Broad: he "feigned innocence over a slip catch (enough said) whose obviousness (it was a catch) would have ..."? Stu didn't walk. Note the double standards: Why treat fielders differently than batsmen? Rob rightly chides "Despicable Stu" for "acting the bully". But in "Contempt and disrespect", Rob lauds Ramdin's "excessive punishment" as a "worthwhile deterrent" & "precedent"! But he lets Stu off "unless a match referee steps in"? Chris Broad? Really? Just ask Sunil Gavaskar. That said, Rob's 100% right about Senõr Rivera, the Baseball Rockstar! Yes, Stu can learn to be a better person: Forget Metallica, they'll sing "Y.M.C.A." in Oz-Land for Stu! Life can be fair & comedic too. But don't bet on it, Rob!

Posted by TengaZool on (September 29, 2013, 2:59 GMT)

Stuart Broad has got away with some unbelievably mediocre behaviour on the field. As to why he hadn't been charged for his behaviour is up for debate. However, it seems that over the past couple of years he has become slightly better as a player - both from a performance and behaviour perspective. He still has a long way to go - as a player and a sportsman.

Posted by Front-Foot-Sponge on (September 28, 2013, 9:43 GMT)

He's mediocre at best and shows poor sportsmanship. There are times his behaviour should have been cited by the ICC but it hasn't? Ever wonder why?

Posted by jay57870 on (September 28, 2013, 2:25 GMT)

Rob - Call him Despicable Me 2 Stu!! There's a nasty ring to it: STU & GRU!! In the hit DMe2-movie, Gru the ex-supervillain is kidnapped by Lucy, an agent for the Anti-Villain League. AVL recruits Gruesome Gru to track down the new supervillain Eduardo-cum-El Macho, who is hell-bent on world domination. Old habits die hard, as Gru's back in the game, this time to save the world. So Gru & Lucy, along with his army of yellow Minions, go after El Macho. The plot thickens: Gru loves Lucy; but she's reassigned to Australia (!); only to be captured by El Macho; so superhero Gru rescues her & overpowers the baddie with a fart-gun & her lipstick-taser! A bad guy turns good & wins! So if a supervillain could be redeemed, why not our Gruesome Stu? There's a nice ring to it: STU & GRU!! Next, AVL recruits Stu with Gru as his mentor. Gru's new bride Lucy assumes her prized Oz assignment: The Ashes. The yellow Minions out-hustle the Barmy Army. The superhit sequel: Call it Despicable Me 3 Stu!!!

Posted by Fifthman on (September 26, 2013, 22:48 GMT)

This article is largely a waste of space. OK Rob, you don't like Stuart Broad much and think he doesn't play fair. Couldn't you have made that point using far less words? Or are you (perish the thought) paid by the word? And what in heaven's name does this Rivera cove have to do with cricket? Get a grip, man. So Stuart Broad nicked one and didn't walk and you have to construct a tortuous monologue loosely connected to that event. If you did that every time a batsman did the same we'd be drowning in your verbiage in no time at all. 1/10 and see me after class.

Posted by shillingsworth on (September 26, 2013, 22:17 GMT)

@Greatest Game - All I 'get' is more righteous indignation, except from a different source. You're entitled to your opinion. The claim to speak for 'cricket followers worldwide' is pompous twaddle.

Posted by jonesy2isaBigot on (September 26, 2013, 22:08 GMT)

Some excellent comments this evening. Essentially destroying the crediblity of the authors arguement. Indeed the ongoing lie that Broad edges the ball to second slip is incredulous! As for Shane Warne, I watched him jumping around like a "whirling dervish" shrieking and hip thrusting in the most disgusting manner when he had got Daryl Cullinan's wicket. Now I am not one to judge cricketers on one incident and think Warne is a good egg overall, but judging by this article you should have written a book the size of the bible after that episode.

Posted by   on (September 26, 2013, 17:40 GMT)

The author's assessment of Broad's character is pretty accurate, but if he thinks that's an exception rather than the rule in the modern game, or even in cricket over its history, he is living in cuckoo land. Any bowler will appeal if they think there's the remotest chance a decision might be given out, even if they know it was missing the stumps by several inches - and most will still manage to look aggrieved at every appeal which is turned down. Very few batsmen will leave the crease of their own accord. Fielders run out batsmen who leave their crease thinking the ball is dead (Brendon McCullum to Murali), or who are stranded after colliding with the bowler (Graeme Swann to Grant Elliott, with Collingwood refusing to withdraw the appeal).

It's the 'nice' players who are the exception in international cricket today, Mr Steen - not the 'nasty' ones like Broad. Don't delude yourself by trying to pretend otherwise.

Posted by cric_J on (September 26, 2013, 14:22 GMT)

(contd...)

But anyone who has followed Broady consistently over the years and especially since 2011, would be nothing but blind if they haven't seen his improvement. And by improvement I mean consistency and consistency only. He was capable of winning the match with just one spell (a Broad burst, I call it) in 2008 too and he is capable of that now as well. But what has changed is the frequency of those spells. What has changed is his responsibility towards the team's cause.

And so, I like Broad again now. Because now he seems to be living up to the expectations that have been set for him for almost 7 years now. He still isn't THERE yet. Not anywhere near. He will get 350 test wickets at least (barring a career threatening injury), if he doesn't, I'd be ready to give up watching cricket. And he may get to 400 too. But from what I've seen in the last 24 months, I think he is a much more responsible and likable lad now and that my first impression of Stewie dear was right after all.

Posted by cric_J on (September 26, 2013, 14:09 GMT)

(contd....)

But now when I come to think of it, that dislike was maybe not because Broady was poor and hopeless, but because he was so good and I expected him to do much better than what he did.

It frustrated me no end to see him bowl that short stuff repeatedly and get smacked when I knew he would get a wicket if he bowled 6 bowls at a fuller length in the right areas at about 87 mph. It frustrated me no end to see him gifting his wicket with headless shots when I knew that he was capable of much more, if only he put his head to it. It frustrated me no end to see him sitting out due to numerous injuries and blow off his chances when he got them thus allowing others to play in his place, something that was a calamity given how good he could be. It frustrated me no end to see him get a fifer in one match and go 0/100+ in the next.

(contd.....)

Posted by cric_J on (September 26, 2013, 13:56 GMT)

I liked Broad when he first burst on to the England scene as a 19 year old. He had an innocent, gentle school boyish face with lad-lost-in-the-woods-eyes. He seemed to be a good bowler. He had pace, hit the deck well and used the seam positions pretty effectively. He seemed highly capable with the bat too. Most importantly, he inspired a sort of belief that he could be a key player in the future for an England team that was in transition at that time, that he could nurture and polish his one-time-wonder-raw potential to be a consistent match winner.

But that likeness of mine for Stewie soon turned into dislike and almost to repulsion. The reasons were many. His irritated behaviour with the iconic hands-on-the-hips-pose, over appealing, flurry of short bowling, irresponsible shots with the bat etc.

(contd......)

Posted by   on (September 26, 2013, 13:06 GMT)

Mr Steen, you're writing cricket, not Shakespearean Tragedy. This piece was hard work. If you'd left out the baseball it could have been written in half the space.

Posted by Gevelsis on (September 26, 2013, 12:39 GMT)

Mr Steen, you raise some fair points but I am curious why you (and many others) insist on describing the incident as a "snick to first slip", when you must be well aware that the ball was diverted to slip off Hadden's glove or pad? This distortion of truth implies a much greater 'cheat factor' and serves only to provide ammunition to those who would like to paint Broad as some kind of sports criminal. As some comments have pointed out, the Strayans are not averse to selective sportsmanship themselves, even having the gumption to review decisions knowing they have nicked it. Broad was quite entitled to stand his ground pending the umpire's decision, especially after Agar's abominable stumping fiasco in the first innings. Of course had Clarke had any clue how to use the DRS this would be a non-story.

Posted by   on (September 26, 2013, 10:58 GMT)

but to many indians the victory that gave us immense satisfaction was thrashing the pommie team who had made no bones of their belief that they only had to show up to make it a WI vs Eng final

Posted by   on (September 26, 2013, 9:22 GMT)

Interesting Mr Steen raises the name John Snow because there was a bad boy for the England team who got dropped and not selected because he was viewed by the English cricket authorities as surly, unsportsmanlike and uncompromising. Yet after all these years most cricket fans lament the fact that he only got to play 40 odd Tests because he was seen as a bad boy. Shane Warne was someone who often pushed the boundaries of gamesmanship on the pitch and yet he often got a free pass by everyone, but it did cost him the captaincy of Australia. Mr Steen got this part right: Broad can sail as close to the wind as he likes as long as he doesn't break the laws. Posterity will label Broad as unsportsmanlike and prone to bad on field behaviour. It'll probably label him as a winner as well.

Posted by   on (September 26, 2013, 9:22 GMT)

So, Stuart Broad is just like most other cricketers on the planet then. Australians criticising someone for not walking is so rich it makes Scrooge McDuck look like a pauper.

The suggeston that he is not a good person, because of hsi behavior on the pitch, is laughable and borderline offensive. most if not all cricketers behave differently on the pitch to the way they do off it and there is NO reason to suspect that Stuart Broad is anythign but a thoroughly nice chap off it.

"being Stuart Broad, playing "Stuart Broad", means acting the bully. Hence the bouncers, the big biffs and even bigger beefs - with the opposition, with umpires, with Hawk-Eye". As if he is the first and only ever fast bowler to bowl boucners and try to bully batsmen and be generally bad tempered with the whole world around him when hes in the middle.

Posted by SquareLegs on (September 26, 2013, 8:20 GMT)

Mr Steen, is this an article about cricket or about baseball? I assumed the former, from the headline, but I had no idea what the article was trying to say until I reached the penultimate paragraph, because, not following baseball, I was totally unaware that Mr Rivero has a reputation for fair play.

Posted by jonesy2isaBigot on (September 26, 2013, 7:27 GMT)

I find it funny when comments are made about England players never walking, people like Harathattu Radhakrishna Rammohan, would come across with more credibility if they researched the facts. In the current England team, Bairstow is a walker, so how on earth is this record any worse than Australia's, where only a retired player springs to mind? That said the default behaviour is not to walk for most players these days. This practice wasn't started by the English.

Posted by   on (September 26, 2013, 6:13 GMT)

@raghav shete-indeed?point taken,aussies dont walk unless they have run out of gas.but atleast they have gilly who walks & atleast they are honest about it.but the poms-they are probabaly the most despicably dishonest lot in the world.behind the veneer of fair play they are past masters @bending the spirit of play meaning to their advantage & projecting their flaws as virtues.How many of the poms walk?I rest my case

Posted by Greatest_Game on (September 26, 2013, 4:24 GMT)

Shhhhhht! Hush man! For heaven's sakes don't ever let Broad hear that story, brilliant as it is! One whiff of that and he will be even more insufferable than ever, and will appeal for a decision with every ball he bowls! (In a conundrum of incalculable convolution, that would make him even less appealing, difficult as that is to imagine!)

I doubt Stewie could dream of a finer moment than appealing, being turned down, the batsman then walking just to show Stewie what it looks like, and promptly being booked by the ump for dissent. No more joyous an emotion could he imagine! His cup of odium would runneth over!

Good lord man, for the sake of the game, don't ever allow Broad to hear that story! It will be the end of cricket. 20/20 will suddenly become be appealing! People will flock to watch the IPL because it will be Broad free! (He'll never get a team to hire him.) Oh the horror, the horror, to paraphrase Joseph Conrad.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (September 26, 2013, 4:10 GMT)

@ landl47. I too live in the sports wasteland named USA. 20 years ago I started following baseball due to serious cricket withdrawal. My local team is the Orioles, & the year I got really serious this bloke called Ripkin was about to break some long standing record held by a Yankee called Gehrig. That was pretty cool, but it got a bit boring after that. I still go occasionally & it is fun, but its not cricket.

I work at all kinds of events, including sporting. I worked several Superbowls, a summer Olympics, & a soccer world cup. Boring. I won't work winter Olympics - too cold & ice hockey is more boring than the luge. I also toured with Iron Maiden & did Donnington Monsters of Rock ... but Metallica was not on the bill :) Metal is boring too.

I'd give my eye teeth for Cricket World Cup Final tickets.

If Broad finishes his career with 400 plus wickets, I'll go back to baseball

If Steyn does not get well over 400 wickets, it will be the BCCI's fault - he he he he he.

Posted by gudolerhum on (September 26, 2013, 3:09 GMT)

Stuart Broad is "just another" English medium-fast bowler, except that he thinks he has attitude. Attitude is what Curtley Ambrose, Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thompson, Fred Trueman and giants of that ilk had. Broad just appears to have a miserable, unsporting personality. It is unlikely he will ever qualify to walk in the shoes of the great fast bowlers. As an 'all-rounder' his batting is often weak, bordering on abysmal. He has not yet demonstrated the technique, consistency or commitment to offer hope that he will graduate to being considered a 'batsman' in the class of those other English icons Sir Ian and Freddie Flintoff. His lack of sportsmanship is already legendary We shall see how he fares this time down under, it will say a lot about how his future develops. At 27 the years are slipping by, redemption, if it is to come, must start soon.

Posted by   on (September 26, 2013, 2:16 GMT)

This hullabaloo was started by Darren Lehmann. Since when does an Australian yell foul when others do not walk ? The famous quote is " An Australian wallks only when he runs out of gas." Just read Gilly's autobiography, "True Colours " to realise how lonely he was in the Aussie dressing room, because he was a walker,and it put unnecessary pressure on his teammates to follow suit.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (September 26, 2013, 1:14 GMT)

@ JG2704 wrote "Off the field (apart from KP) which seems to be just a clash of personalities because KP is a truly talented, game changing player who can turn it on when he wants to and make oodles of money in the IPL & Stewie, who has occasions of brilliance, can't even fetch the IPL rock bottom base price that uncapped Saffers and Aussies get regularly, there doesn't seem to be much bad press about him."

Spot on JG. Could not have said it better myself. As always, you are the sage!

Posted by Greatest_Game on (September 26, 2013, 0:55 GMT)

Broad is a victim of his own schoolboy looks. He never looks irritated, or angry, but rather just petulant. He does not smile, but instead smirks. He telegraphs his every emotion with the finesse of Marcel Marceau. And when he edges behind, and tries to look nonchalant, his blushing gives him away as surely as the day was long and the Ump was wrong. The sight of his beet red mug lighting up his helmet was as clear as day that he knew he had knicked it. Blushing while trying to look nonchalant is not a good combination. It reeks of the classic "despicable cad," the sort of chap who would have been tarred and feathered in a P.G. Woodhouse novel.

He can't help looking like a villain when he chooses to act like one. Or when he edges behind!

Posted by redneck on (September 26, 2013, 0:23 GMT)

hats off to the auther for being able to link the 2 greatest things on earth - metallica and cricket into an article!!!! even if it is talking up an over rated pommy bowler!!! broads like mitchel johnson is for australia, his best bowling brings a tear to your eye his worst makes you cry, shake your head and wonder how they got anywhere near a test team!!!

Posted by Greatest_Game on (September 26, 2013, 0:09 GMT)

@ clarke501. @jcostanza echoes the sentiments of cricket followers worldwide, not simply the "anti-English" brigade. Eng do bend the laws to the max, & the "spirit of the game" seems something they drink with tonic as an accompaniment to their theatrical displays of pompous indignation.

The sadness of this is that they truly seem to believe that they are, at last, playing hardball and "being tough." That's not tough, it's petty. It's not hard, it's hardass.

Tough is Kallis, ribs broken, scoring 2 tons in a match. Petty is deliberately bowling wide of the wicket & distracting Kallis by waving towels & sheets out the dressing room window, interfering with his sight lines - in a series Eng have already lost!

Petty is an experienced international skipper deliberately intimidating a 22 year old debutant captain on his first tour. Tough is young Graeme Smith smashing double centuries & abruptly ending a whimpering Nasser Hussain's career.

Get it? Need to tie a shoelace while you think?

Posted by   on (September 25, 2013, 22:23 GMT)

Broad doesn't care what people think. He is a professional sportsman a match winner. He is paid for results. I am glad he plays for England.

Posted by landl47 on (September 25, 2013, 22:12 GMT)

I live in the US and although Rivera is indeed a model citizen he's the exception rather than the rule. It's much more common to see a pitcher 'accidentally' knock down a batter, followed by a brawl in which everyone participates. The crowd loves it. What about ice hockey, another North American sport? There's a saying: "I went to the fights and a hockey game broke out". Bad boys are heroes, just as they are everywhere.

As for Broad, he has a long way to go before he's even close to Fred Trueman as a bad boy. Trueman's aggression, his scowl, his threats to pin batsmen to the sightscreen or knock their heads off are legendary. Who's the poster boy for fast bowlers in England? Fred Trueman. How about Dennis Lillee, who wrote during his career that he liked to hit batsmen and see blood on the pitch. Greatest fast bowler I ever saw.

Results talk. If Broad finishes his career with 400+ wickets, he'll be remembered as a great player. Nice guy- who cares?

Posted by JG2704 on (September 25, 2013, 22:01 GMT)

I also think that Broad will take the Australian boos as a positive. I've heard people from other sports saying that if opposition fans aren't booing the person that there must be something wrong with the effectiveness of their performance

Posted by jonesy2isaBigot on (September 25, 2013, 21:45 GMT)

If you have to bring Metallica songs into an article about cricket, how about "My friend of misery" as an ode to Lehman's whole demeanor this summer.

Posted by jonesy2isaBigot on (September 25, 2013, 21:08 GMT)

@Optic, very well said, but unfortunately all logic and balance goes out of the window on this website. Particularly if it is an opportunity for people to have a rant about a player or country they don't like. I for one would like to see less comments published where it is quite obvious the writer is wrong. When you publish something on here you are warned about telling untruths, yet so much drivel gets published.

Posted by jonesy2isaBigot on (September 25, 2013, 21:00 GMT)

I sometimes wonder the wisdom of such articles like the above. They take a certain player and magnify his bad points, at the same time forgetting other players in the very same match doing virtually the same. Regarding Broad(gate), it just encourages the urban myth that Australia were the only side hard done by with marginal descisions at Trent Bridge. That said, I have an unemotional reason for not being the guys biggest fan. He goes through fazes of thinking he is genuinely quick rather than fast medium and thus bangs it in too short. Also I am astonished this writer seems to want to bring Baseball into this.

Posted by anton1234 on (September 25, 2013, 20:43 GMT)

The only thing baseball has one up on cricket is the ability to hit really big. Home runs carry far greater distance on average than sixes in cricket. Home runs of 130-140 metres happen with quite regularity. In contrast, cricket sixes are often 70-75 metres. 80-85 metre boundaries should be a minimum and offer 8 runs for sixes in T20 and ODI cricket.

Another regret is that there are not more fielders. I wish there were two designated fielders, nominated before the start of the match (the designated fielders will only field, not bat or bowl) as they would ensure the field was better protected in the outfield. Too often teams have 9,10 and occasionally, 11 in the infield (let's say within 50 yard radius), allowing batsmen too earn too many easy runs, like clips of the leg, gentle push can quite sometimes go for four.

You could have around 5 fielders protecting the boundary around the ground. This will mean the batter has to hit very hard to first beat the outfield.

Posted by TheSmudge on (September 25, 2013, 18:52 GMT)

It is indicative of the basic truth of this article that I feel the need to apologise for defending Broad (which I do), but it astonishes me that the fact the Warner did almost exactly the same subsequently (bat, deflection to slip) on every bit as thick an edge, but not only didn't walk but reviewed it, and Lehmann rt al. have the cheek to ignore it. Real Aussies I know don't have a big problem with him not walking.

Posted by Partyman on (September 25, 2013, 18:28 GMT)

This article is utter tosh. Has anyone both here in the Blighty and Australia condemned Lehmann and his charges (Faulkner et al) for berating and mocking the opposition? Not that I know of except for the pity fine of £ 2,000. So why do you lot always first on the band wagon to criticise our players. As a fan, having run into Broad outside Cricket arena he has come across as a decent and gentle young man respectful of other human beings.

Posted by shillingsworth on (September 25, 2013, 18:22 GMT)

@electric_loco_WAP4 - Hilarious. Broad to Clarke in the last series - 5 dismissals, 84 runs conceded, average 16.8. Watch some of the footage - I've not seen much worse technique against the short ball and yes that was on some pretty slow but essentially true pitches. I get the message - you don't like Broad. Why not just leave it at that?

Posted by hhillbumper on (September 25, 2013, 18:01 GMT)

electric loco@ Yep you are so right about Broad.I mean so far he has run through Aus on 3 occasions.Let alone what he did to India at home.I seem to remember the last time he was fit and bowled abrod in the UAE he did rather well.I hope he is fit for this series as when he gets on a roll he can be unstoppable.But don't let your prejudice get in the way of cricketing sense.It seems any piece about England brings out your ramblings and you almost make front foot lunge seem normal.Class

Posted by Joshua_1985 on (September 25, 2013, 17:48 GMT)

As a postscript, I would quibble with your assessment that no-one in the public has genuine admiration for Broad - as with many things, this anti-broad agenda is media driven. An important point is that Broad (refreshingly) flies in the face of ingrained english diffidence which is actually little help when trying to win a cricket match, and for a long time our players looked frightened (and who wouldn't against players like Warne and McGrath, who exhibited exactly Broad's attitude, though granted with twice the talent). His mindset is actually a huge asset - i'm just glad he plays for England and not the opposition, which is gratitude enough.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (September 25, 2013, 17:21 GMT)

It is funny how this incident has been dragged out of the dustbin and reaired so long after its occurrence. At the time commentators and writers by a sizeable majority said they agreed with Broad. Censure if such was warranted should have been made public at the time but the people in the know said 'no'.This was a vital game and the 3rd umpire had already gifted Australia 91 runs, so in delicto flagranti the tough choices had to be made. To revile Broad now seems a little uncalled for, the more so since the opponents pride themselves on not walking and regard it as a virtue. So the umpire's decision is final. End of story. There have been other bad decisions, not least in the same series. Those who agreed with Broad should stand by their decisions now. That Madsen was given the spirit of cricket award for one incident is slightly OTT though the act was worthy in domestic cricket where the players are gentlemen largely.In Tests it is different, and I find the comparisons odd.

Posted by tpearce28 on (September 25, 2013, 15:32 GMT)

Preposterous nonsense. You either walk or you don't, and for Aussies to whine that an opponent didn't walk when he nicked one is hypocrisy of the highest order. Broad plays pretty hard, but as far as I know he hasn't yet stooped to the kind of abuse that Glenn McGrath dished out to Ronnie Sarwan. I don't recall there being a Merv Hughes Spirit of Cricket Award, and Adam Gilchrist is always highlighted as being a walker for the simple reason that he was the only Aussie batsman of his generation that was, including Darren Lehmann. By all means play hard, let the umpire do their job and let the opponents know that you're not going to walk, but don't whine when it comes back to bite you later on. I hope Broad middles one to Long On, gets given not out and gives Lehmann a cheery wave when he goes on to complete a match winning century.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (September 25, 2013, 15:19 GMT)

Most professional sports people have 3 faces, the Private face, the on the field face and the Media Face and often the later two are very close.

How many people stating the dont like Broad actually know him outside of what media spin, or what they seen on a TV or sat in a stadium.

Unfortunately people are too hasty to judge a person by what thier peers think, what the media reports which is often Skewed to suit a media bias or other agenda.

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (September 25, 2013, 15:19 GMT)

Stuart Broad ,for all his meagre ability with ball has been in wrong more reasons , at times even for his own team. But with his erratic bowling and not much but straight bowling , he will find hard against world class players like Clarke . On truer Aus pitch any thing below std. will be easy pickings vs top players of this level. He will barely be able to take more than 5-6 wicketsin the series even if plays all 5 .It will be tough learning as at this level it is very tough nd weakness will be exposed much quicker.

Posted by dailycric on (September 25, 2013, 14:37 GMT)

For me the real issue isn't whether Broad is a nice guy or not. Ponting wasn't for much of his career, but ended it as not just a great player but a dignified and respected ambassador for the sport. The issue is - does Broad get away with things that other, less well connected players get fined or punished for? It seems the answer is yes. Holding hit the nail on the head when he contrasted the Broad situation to Ramdin's punishment for claiming a catch just weeks previously. It is one thing to be nasty because you're aggressive on the field - many sportsmen, from McEnroe to Ponting, qualify on that score.

Posted by WillDuff on (September 25, 2013, 14:34 GMT)

This is absurdly over the top and unfair. This isn't a bloke with a Matthew Hayden or Merv Hughes streak of bullying nastiness. This isn't a bloke with a Steve Waugh streak of evil cruelty, determined to grind down the opposition with sledging and thin-eyed steel. Don't forget where this attitude of his came from: by his own admission, he came from being sledged in Australia, and his determination never again to be pushed around by Oz bullies. So the Aussies can accept that Broad is a great bowler who plays the game hard like the Aussies of old (not the feeble pussy cats of today).

Posted by   on (September 25, 2013, 14:30 GMT)

Wrong issue with the wrong guy. Broad wants to win nothing wrong with that. As a fan of Indian cricket we have always moaned about the fact that Indian cricketers dont do justice to their talent by being gentlemen abroad. We love Ganguly for changing that.

The topic of being like able is another though. Flintoff played hard , Warne played hard and so did Lille and Thommo. Could it be the fact that Broad whines as much as he roars , and crowds don't like a pansy pretending to be a lion? His cricketing skills alone are great - he has come back a long way from being hit by Yuvraj for 6 sixes .

Posted by SamRoy on (September 25, 2013, 13:51 GMT)

Stuart Broad is a person who riles up the opposition the wrong way and often he seems to get away with his mistakes which go unpunished. Of course, I don't like him. But so was McGrath. Why do Australians have such a short memory? Just because he was an all-time great cricketer and a nice human being doesn't justify McGrath's onfield bad manners. Brandes, Sarwan, Tendulkar, Lara, Inzamam will all swear by my statement.

Posted by Optic on (September 25, 2013, 13:47 GMT)

@Rahul_78 You like many others, including Lehmann can't even tell the incident how it happened. Broad did not hit it to slip at all, he edged it to Haddin who fumbled it into the hands of slip. It's almost like if you tell it this way it sounds worse but facts are facts, the edge was nothing like what has been made out, it wasn't a feather but it was no huge edge. What's even funnier is I've heard Aussies tell the story that he edged it to 2nd slip, lol you couldn't make it up, there was no 2nd slip.

Posted by Optic on (September 25, 2013, 13:41 GMT)

As for the not walking incident, lets be right the amount of press he's got has been well OTT and tbh it's been mostly incited by the Aussies. Which is hypocrisy of the highest order after what Clarke did in the last Ashes. Which was practically exactly the same as the Broad incident but Clarke smashed his to short leg. For some reason probably because the English team didn't make a big thing about it and also because we had reviews left to put the call right it's almost been forgotten about. As for Broad himself, like everyone on here they don't know the bloke and have never spoken to him, therefore using terms like hate is what children do. Personally I like my fast bowlers to have a bit of Mongrel about them but again for some reason when it's an English fast bowler everyone whinges about it, work that one out.

Posted by shillingsworth on (September 25, 2013, 13:26 GMT)

@jcostanza - Your examples of 'righteous indignation' are rather contrived. This article does it much better.

Posted by   on (September 25, 2013, 13:14 GMT)

Can anyone explain why not walking off a thick edge is cheating but not walking off a thin edge is OK. I'd rather they walked but to single Broad out on this issue is pretty odd since its now standard practice. Haddin admitted to not walking off the game deciding thin edge. Also the fact that its still being referred to as a slip catch rather than a deflection off the keeper just goes to show that enough people say it they think its true.

Posted by jcostanza on (September 25, 2013, 12:45 GMT)

It seems like the author really wanted to write about baseball? One reason why Broad has been so heavily criticised is due to England's general demeanour of righteous indignation (admittedly some of this is promoted by media not the team). Recall Flower and Strauss actions when Bell was given out run out at Trent Bridge vs India at Trent Bridge; the public protest to ICC about decisions following the first Ashes test (I don't recall them protesting about decisions in their favour). Yet Engalnd have, for better or worse, abandoned playing in the spirit of the game with taking any advantage within the laws, sometimes bending them significantly. For example, no team uses substiutes to the extremes that England do. That's fine, but Engalnd and their supporters should be wary of trying to have their cake and eat it too!

Posted by jw76 on (September 25, 2013, 12:39 GMT)

Well said, Rob, you tell it like it is. Broad may be potentially a great cricketer, but he looks and behaves like a spoilt brat, and I feel in his case the England management and captain have been weak (or maybe their sense of standards is corrupted), as well as some umpires and match referees, in failing to put a stop to the unacceptable aspects of his behaviour and attitude. He certainly helps to give the England cricket team a poor image as sportsmen, along with other sledgers in the team. In fact sledging and misbehaviour on the field tarnishes the image of the game as a whole - but parochial authorities often seem to think success is the be all and end all of the game and the end justifies the means.

Posted by   on (September 25, 2013, 12:02 GMT)

Who cares whether Stuart Broad is a nice person or not? It's results on the pitch that are important. Less of this lovey-dovey stuff please, and more aggression. Broad is no more cowardly than many other players (Michael Clarke, for example) who have had big nicks to the wicketkeeper or slip and not walked.

Posted by emmersonne on (September 25, 2013, 11:31 GMT)

I once walked, and got booked for dissent by the umpire for disrespecting his decision. Can't win.

Posted by   on (September 25, 2013, 11:16 GMT)

I hate Broad just as much as the next guy. But to accuse him of cheating for not walking is both ridiculous and childish. Essentially what he did was refrain from walking after he had nicked the ball. How big that nick was is immaterial.

Is he the first person to have not walked when he knew he was out? Australians do it day in and day out. Bowlers all over the world routinely appeal for LBW and caught behind when they know it isn't out.

So why are we holding Broad to a different standard? Is it because he admitted that he knew that he hit the cover off the ball? In my opinion that is honesty, and he had no obligation to admit it.

This is why DRS makes so much sense and is so valuable. FYI, I am Sri Lankan so there is no bias here.

Posted by smudger201 on (September 25, 2013, 10:58 GMT)

Nonsense article, I'm afraid. Why do people still refer to the incident as a "slip catch" or "edge to slip"? He edged it into the keeper's gloves, who dropped the chance, and was caught on the rebound by slip. We saw several instances of Australian batsmen edging behind and not walking (some even reviewed the decision!!), yet this isn't highlighted and their character not questioned.

Broad getting singled out by 'do good' journalists/pundits is poor, an easy target for all those who claim to be holier-than-thou. Leave the bloke alone, or highlight every single player that doesn't walk when they nick one behind.

Posted by hhillbumper on (September 25, 2013, 10:53 GMT)

Prefer to have him in the team then some of the players we have suffered who couldn't do sod all but looked nice and respectful.Broad plays with emotion and all the better for that.As long as he remembers to keep a full length then he should harvest a number of wickets in Aus.His spell at Durham was world class.

Posted by shillingsworth on (September 25, 2013, 10:50 GMT)

Players don't walk. Yet it's always about Broad, as if he's the only player that ever waited for the umpire's decision. Ah yes they say but this time is different because he edged it to slip. How many more times do people have to point out that he didn't - the ball got to slip via the keeper's gloves? When does a thick edge become a thin one? Apparently when Broad is batting. I'd hazard a guess that even Madsen hasn't walked every time he's edged one. Yet he gets an award for walking on one occasion. Away from the attention of TV cameras, there are probably still selective walkers in county cricket - the ones who actually only walk when it suits them and who dare the umpire to impugn their supposed integrity by giving them out. But we live in a binary world - Madsen good, Broad bad.

Posted by brusselslion on (September 25, 2013, 10:49 GMT)

@nutcutlet sums up the English reaction to Broad nicely. He's a fine cricketer and, potentially could be a great one. However, it's difficult to warm to him. The comparison that @dustybin makes to Warne & Lillie is interesting. Sure, these two had their moments but they were both lovable. It's hard to believe either of them not walking in a Trent Bridge type situation.

On a wider matter: Perhaps, it does not apply to the individual posters on this thread, but I think that there is a little hypocrisy among some of my fellow English posters when it comes to this 'spirit of cricket' thing: Broad is excused because he acted "within the laws" (never mind that the preamble to the laws mentions "playing within the spirit of the game"); however Dhoni, for example, was criticised for initially "running out" Bell the other season i.e. that was not in the 'spirit' of the game. Can't have it both ways, guys!

Posted by thejesusofcool on (September 25, 2013, 10:24 GMT)

Broad didn't nick it, he smashed the cover off it, regardless of where it went or finished up. He clearly knew Clarke hadn't scooped the ball off the deck, so he made a conscious decision not to walk when everybody in the ground knew he was out without the benefit of Hawkeye.

I'd prefer, as an Englishman, that we win. But Broad's actions then just leave a bad taste in my mouth still.

Posted by robheinen on (September 25, 2013, 10:15 GMT)

Nice paraphrasing: "...terminating an innings with extreme prejudice"

Posted by Rexton87 on (September 25, 2013, 10:09 GMT)

The main reason Braod is crticised so severly after Trent Bridge Test that it was such an obvious edge to all players including the batsman and TV viewers. Somehow it was missed by one of the best Umpires around and Broad went on to take advantage of this and this had a direct impact on the match and series result.

Posted by muzika_tchaikovskogo on (September 25, 2013, 10:07 GMT)

I do not agree with most of what's written in this article. Players like Lillee, McGrath, Warne, etc weren't exactly exemplary in terms of their on field conduct. It didn't prevented them from being regarded as all time greats. True, Stuart Broad's conduct is frequently unbecoming of an international cricketer, but he's in the team because of the x-factor that he brings when he fires.

Posted by cric698 on (September 25, 2013, 9:32 GMT)

As long as he plays within the laws of the game I couldnt care less what his perceived behaviour is like on the field. He nicks it to the wicketkeeper (not to slip!) and doesnt walk, hes called a cheat....Haddin, in the same game, nicks it to the wicketkeeper and doesnt walk. Nothing is mentioned He plays hard to win.......I wish all the England bowlers had his desire to win. Think what a bowler Steve Harmison would have been with Broads attitude.

Whats not to like!

Posted by AnyoneButVettel on (September 25, 2013, 9:17 GMT)

@Insult_2_Injury - Fair point. I completely agree that a player should wait for the umpire's decision. But, here's the slight difference - a batter and indeed a fielder/captain, have the opportunity to "correct" the umpire's decision because we expect the game to be played with honesty and with integrity. A bowler doesn't quite have this opportunity. To me, taking this chance is the difference between a Broad and a Gilly/M Hussey/Dravid/Jayawardene (not saying they'd have walked but they're known for their gentle demeanour, aren't they?). I guess what Rob's saying is does Stuart have the desire to be remembered as well as them or just for his game. I don't condemn him for not walking as he was well within his rights to wait for the umpire's call. But, aren't there instances of a batter being technically out but opposing captains withdrawing their appeal and allowing the batter to continue in the spirit of the game?

Posted by shane-oh on (September 25, 2013, 9:08 GMT)

This whole debate is a tired, boring joke. Sure' I'd love it if we lived in a world where batsmen walked. But we don't. The demonising of Broad simply doesn't make any sense. Also, as already pointed out, as soon as a writer makes reference to something along the lines of 'slip catch' or 'edge to slip', the lose their credibility immediately, as we all know that's not what happened. It suggests this story was written with one eye clamped firmly shut.

Posted by Reg_Dyer on (September 25, 2013, 8:50 GMT)

Firstly, I don't know how many times it needs to be said but Broad didn't nick it to first slip, he nicked it to the keeper who parried it on to slip. As a batsmen, it would have felt like a fine nick not a great chunk. Secondly, as an all-rounder myself when bowling you get rather a lot of decisions that are given 'not out' that are actually 'out'. This leads to a strong feeling of being 'owed' a decision or two when batting but also that the same rules should apply to batsmen and bowlers. In short, 'leave it up to the umpire' which incidentally (and somewhat relevant!) are the laws of the game. Lastly, if Broad's character puts him in the same company as Snow and Jardine, I'd be happy to have a full XI of those!

Posted by cnksnk on (September 25, 2013, 8:28 GMT)

Stuart Broad's skills as as a cricketer has improved and one suspects he will still sharpen his skills. However his behaviour still is the same. He was always considered boorish and without any respect for the opposition. Early in his career he had a number of warnings due to his behaviour and there were whispers that he was saved from suspensions only because of his father who was one of the match referees. It was believed and I think Gavaskar has also mentioned it some where that only because of his father other referees took a more linient view of Surat. And yes his gamesmenship of removing his shoes to slow down the game is hardly going to win him points.

Posted by JG2704 on (September 25, 2013, 8:13 GMT)

Have to say I'm a huge Broad fan.

I think the guy got hugely bad press for not walking in that innings and I bet you the main reason why other batsmen would not have walked is because their natural instinct would be that there's no way they wouldn't be given out. How many times have we seen batsmen obviously edge it and wait for the finger to go up? If the finger didn't go up do we think their conscience would kick in?

Also he's not had a history re not walking and he seems to have calmed down alot from showing frustrations as a bowler.

Off the field (apart from KP) which seems to be just a clash of personalities there doesn't seem to be much bad press about him I'd be interested to hear opinions on anyone who has met him/asked for a photo/autograph etc how he comes across

Posted by its.rachit on (September 25, 2013, 8:08 GMT)

I just dont get it ... he never nicked it to slip ... it was kepper's deflection to the slip ... so why do people keep referring to it as a slip catch ... and haddin admitting that he nicked it after standing his ground is basically the same thing ... keepers (esp gilly) appeal everytime they feel the batsman has nicked it even tho the hit to appeal ratio wud be only 20% ... shud they be talked in the same breath as broad ... i agree broad is one of the least sporting player going around ... but that has got nothing to do with not walking ... throwing the ball at the Pak keeper in 2010 was probably a far bigger crime ... and he walked away unfined after that ...

Posted by DustyBin on (September 25, 2013, 7:59 GMT)

Warnerbasher, top marks for some common sense. From afar, the great Warne behaved like a prat, as did Mr Lillee; but each of them was entitled to point at the record books & say "yep, but I won a lot of games didn't I?" I'd have had both of them in my team like a shot. Broad "would do better", to use Mr Steen's words, to try to be as successful as they were (& I'm not saying he'll ever get there), than worry about what the preachy say about his non cricketing skills. I no more care that Broad didn't walk @ Trent Bridge than I care that Haddin didn't walk having nicked the last ball of the same match. & I look forward to Broad v Watson again shortly-2 seemingly unloved cricketers that keep getting picked don't they?

Posted by Harlequin. on (September 25, 2013, 7:39 GMT)

Firstly, Mr Steen you have outdone yourself by mentioning Metallica in a cricket article; just when I thought you couldn't get better!

Secondly, I think the Trent Bridge incident was blown well out of proportion - was he the first person to stand their ground after nicking to the keeper? No. Will he be the last? No. So that I have no problem with, but I fully agree that even in English circles, and despite bowling a number of match/series winning spells, he has a long way to go before he is liked by the supporters. As Nutcutlet says, it's because of his attitude and body language - and I believe that if you watch anyone for long enough then body language can tell you everything.

His attitude does not seem to give you the impression that he is always trying, and always giving his all in the England colours, almost like he is taking his place for granted. Too often he appears to give up when the conditions/situation isn't perfect for him. This is the problem Brits have with him.

Posted by warnerbasher on (September 25, 2013, 7:24 GMT)

I don't know who Rob Steen is but Stuart Broad is exactly the sort of cricketer that Australian fans love. Hes passionate, a tad crazy, combative and has a bit of mongrel in him. I reckon with an occassional smile and the odd wave we fans will love him in Oz. He sure is different to the dullards that make up the majority of the England team. I think the blame for the walking incident has been shifted onto him when it should be aimed fair and square at the umpire.

Posted by ReverseSweepIndia on (September 25, 2013, 7:03 GMT)

What Bhajji was to Aus, Stu is to rest of world! Not anything to with his trade (bowling) which has considerably improved in last 2 seasons. But he still blow hot & cold. He may (I believe he will) improve on that front. But respect will always be as far as it is earth to sun.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (September 25, 2013, 6:59 GMT)

The public attitude to Stuart Broad is probably pretty consistent. I'd wager a fiver that if cricket followers in UK & elsewhere were asked to name their least favourite current England player, then SB would head that list. Now, very few supporters know SB at all, not having exchanged so much as a Good Morning with him. Nonetheless, we have a take on him, gathered by all that non-verbal stuff that allows us to come to a fairly confident appraisal, courtesy of HD TV images. We see every crease of his scowl when a fielder's pick-up is less than clean; we note that he seems to believe that he's never out ( there goes the last review!) when batting & that every appeal that he makes for an lb is nailed on. Self-belief isn't in it - it's heresy not to take his side; the body language says it all. Then there was Trent Bridge. Yes, he's fine cricketer - possibly better than that - but when he retires, how much genuine affection will those who've never met him retain for him? Does he care?

Posted by orangtan on (September 25, 2013, 6:49 GMT)

Brilliant article, was it a Trent-Bridgian moment of madness that overcame Stuart Broad or is he inherently just a "bad guy". All the more surprising when he is the son of a match referee who, to the best of my knowledge, played the game reasonably fair and square though he may not have been a walker. Perhaps it is the win at all costs syndrome that assails Stu. Even he, with a supposedly tough carapace belying his choir-boy looks, will find it difficult to combat the primeval taunts that will assail him across the Australian continent. Might this not also affect team morale? That moment of madness might come back to haunt English cricket for many long years if the Aussies get on a roll.

As for Mariano Rivera, it has been my privilege to see this magnificent yet modest sportsman in action, suffice it to say that even tough Yankee fans will shed a tear at his departure.

Posted by Sir_Francis on (September 25, 2013, 6:44 GMT)

Nice thoughts on Rivera.

As for Broad, I have to cut him some slack, he obviously kneels at the alter of Steve Waugh who taugh bad manners, bullying & sharp practice is the only way to win a game. In the old days a team would win because they had better skills. Maybe that's the hard way. A little insecurity?

The fact is he doesn't have to act they way he does because he actually has quite a lot of skill may not have occured to him.

It's a shame because that sort of behaviour exemplified by Steve Waugh's team and Ponting after him is not fun to watch. It certainly made it difficult for me to enjoy Australia's victories (though I wouldn't mind a few in November/December).

Oh well, that's the modern game. Best get used to it. So much for cricket being character building.

Posted by Rahul_78 on (September 25, 2013, 6:11 GMT)

The headline and the summery of the article did it for me Rob. You have hit the nail on the head.No doubt Stuart Broad is a sportsmen of highest pedigree and has a bright future in front of him which might see him Captaining England in test matches in future. A highest honor for any sportsmen. But he certainly do carry that nasty aura around him which makes people love to hate him and his own people at that. Be it simple gesture or scowl on his face when someone miss fields on his bowling or a his appealing which in a sort of way undermines the umpires or many such smaller things. He has the habit of getting on peoples nerve. His walking latter in the Ashes after nicking one to slips was deplorable. Lot of people rightly came to his defense saying he was right in waiting for umpires decision but then why contradict yourself latter? 3 months in Australia will be very tough for him but it is a right time to start towards the path of redemption. A little humility and a smile should do it.

Posted by highveldhillbilly on (September 25, 2013, 5:41 GMT)

@Insult_2_Injury - you are completely missing the point. Broad is not being targeted for a single instance (the nick to slip when he didn't walk) he is being targeted for multiple instances and his general attitude and the way he plays the game. That's why him not walking has been highlighted, it's because of everything that has come before that he is being "singled out". Personally I feel that Broad can play the game anyway he wants to, but I agree with the author's general comment. Broad is my least favorite cricketer in the world and although I'm not an Aussie I hope he has a very poor Ashes because I don't like the way he approaches the game. Imagine how awful it would be to watch cricket of every cricketer approached the game like Broad? I don't think I'd enjoy the sport anymore.

Posted by Insult_2_Injury on (September 25, 2013, 3:28 GMT)

The old adage 'Cricket's a funny game' springs to mind with this Broad discussion. Broad's pilloried for not walking because the umpire made a shocking decision. Of course, with ball in hand if he had a batsman obviously caught behind and just jogged down to high five the keeper, he'd be cited for not turning and appealing for the umpire to confirm the obvious. So with bat in hand he's supposed to ignore the umpire, but with ball in hand he's supposed to consider his feelings? Ridiculous! The irony has been the ludicrous amount of discussion about walking and the DRS, yet I still haven't seen anything about what is being done to improve the standard of umpiring. Once again the basic flaw is ignored and the example gets all the publicity.

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Rob SteenClose
Rob Steen Rob Steen is a sportswriter and senior lecturer in sports journalism at the University of Brighton, whose books include biographies of Desmond Haynes and David Gower (Cricket Society Literary Award winner) and 500-1 - The Miracle of Headingley '81. His investigation for the Wisden Cricketer, "Whatever Happened to the Black Cricketer?", won the UK section of the 2005 EU Journalism Award "For diversity, against discrimination". His latest book, Floodlights and Touchlines: A History of Spectator Sport, will be published in the summer of 2014

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