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December 31, 2009
Stuart Broad has defended his on-field behaviour after recent criticism since the start of the series against South Africa. The strongest comments have come from Sunil Gavaskar who has claimed Broad escapes punishment because his father, Chris, is an ICC match referee.
Gavaskar's views came out following Broad's approach to the umpires during the first Test, at Centurion, after he was given out lbw through the review system and queried the length of time the home side took to call for TV evidence. Broad conceded he would have been better meeting the umpires off the field, but said it was very calm.
"I think a lot was made of the incident," he said. "It was a very relaxed conversation. There were no raised voices, no swear words. But I probably should have waited for the team interval to have that little chat rather than out in the field, where everyone could see it."
He is adamant that his father's position has no bearing on how he is dealt with. "I certainly get treated like everyone else," he said. "The fact is I've done nothing to the grade where I should be getting fined or banned. That's the key. You've actually got to do something bad to get banned.
"They're all grown men, aren't they? I think if I do something wrong they'll let me know about it In the Australia series [against West Indies, which Chris Broad refereed], there were a few pushes and barges so players got banned. All I've done is asked a question. I don't think that's ever been against the law.
"I'm sure when the time comes - I'm sure it will in my career, unless I get unbelievably better - that I get in a little bit of trouble, I'm sure I'll be treated the same as everyone else. I think I've got my passion for the game off my dad."
Broad, like his father, is a fiery character on the field. He has caught the attention of umpires for the way he sometimes appeals without turning around and isn't shy of showing disappointment when decisions go against him. He knows it is an aspect of his game he needs to monitor, but doesn't want to stifle the aggressiveness that drives him.
"Everyone knows I've got a pretty passionate outlook on my cricket - and sometimes it does get the better of me. It's crucial I do carry myself in the right way. It is something I'm aware of, but my youthful exuberance sometimes gets the better of me.
"I hope it won't be to the extent of hitting my stumps down, or anything like that," he added with a smile, in reference to his father's famous incident against Australia, at Sydney, during the Bicentennial Test in 1988. "I'm just very passionate to win games for my country. Sometimes when things don't go my way I'll get a little bit narky, but I don't see that as a huge problem."
Andrew Strauss also defended Broad, who took 4 for 43 in the second innings at Durban to help England to an innings-and-98-run victory, saying that his approach is what makes him such a valuable player.
"Broady is a very strong character," Strauss said. "He sticks up for what he believes in, and sometimes that means he ruffles a few feathers. But ultimately, that's what makes him a very good bowler and very good cricketer because he commits to what he thinks is the right thing to do."
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