World Cup Timeline

Being there for Lara's goodbye

Stuart Broad was witness to two emotional departures during the 2007 World Cup, his first

Stuart Broad
See you Brian: Stuart Broad bowled the last ball Brian Lara faced in international cricket  •  AFP

See you Brian: Stuart Broad bowled the last ball Brian Lara faced in international cricket  •  AFP

It all began a little oddly for me. I wasn't in the initial 2007 World Cup squad. When I made it, I was meant to be replacing Jimmy Anderson, who broke his finger. I got a phone call, saying, "Pack your bags, you're on the way", and got as far as the car when I got another call saying Jimmy only had a jab in his finger and was okay, so I wasn't needed after all.
I had all that excitement about going to the World Cup and was then told I wasn't going. But a week later, Jon Lewis went home injured, so I was there after all.
I was 12th man in Antigua when we played Australia and then again against Bangladesh in Barbados before getting my chance in the last game, against West Indies, by which time we couldn't qualify for the next stage. But I was still hugely excited to be out there.
The atmosphere at Kensington Oval was amazing. It was the biggest crowd I'd ever played in front of. I remember catching Chris Gayle at third man. I bowled the last ball of Brian Lara's international career at the crease, although he wasn't facing, as he was run out at the non-striker's end.
You could sense the occasion, with Lara playing his last match. We gave him a guard of honour. I think a lot of us were disappointed he couldn't get to finish on a better note. West Indies didn't qualify for the next stage, and then being run out. I remember he was quite emotional when he spoke at the end of the match.
I came to bat with about 30 to win, and had Paul Nixon, my Leicestershire mate, at the other end. He played a gem of an innings but got out with just a few needed. I remember Nico telling me afterwards about the winning runs, that all the lads were saying, "Do you reckon he's got this? Where's he going to hit it?" and Nico said, "He'll go over extra cover." That's what happened: I sliced one over the covers off Dwayne Bravo. I was a bit of an unknown player and no one knew where I was going to score.
A few days before the match against West Indies, Duncan Fletcher announced he was quitting as coach. He gave a speech during a training session in Barbados, and a few of the players were quite emotional - Vaughany had a tear in his eye; Nico too might have shed a tear - but I can't say I felt much emotion at the time. I was pretty new to the team, and, in fact, there were quite a few new faces around by then. Harmison, Hoggard, Jones, Giles, Tresco - none of his boys were really there, and it was almost a new team. I remember him saying that too. The next thing I thought was, "Who's bowling in the nets?" Not in a disrespectful way, but because I didn't really know him and he didn't know me. I was just thinking that I want to impress in the nets because there are places up for grabs.
After the match we flew home and had to play county cricket four or five days later.

As told to Andrew McGlashan, a senior assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo