Stuart Broad: England Test schedule makes playing every game ‘a big ask’

Stuart Broad concedes that England’s packed schedule over the next two months would make it ‘a big ask’ for him to feature in every test this summer.

Broad is part of the squad to take on Ireland in a one-off test at Lord’s, starting a week on Thursday before cramming in a six-match Ashes series against Australia by the end of July.

The 36-year-old seamer – who is England’s second highest test wicket-taker behind team-mate James Anderson – has acknowledged that some element of squad rotation, especially among the bowlers, will be inevitable.

“I try not to think too far ahead,” Broad told Sky Sports. “You’ve just got to attack each week that comes your way but ultimately, six test matches in seven weeks is a pretty big ask.

“I can’t think of many times in my career they’ve come so thick and fast. In Test cricket, you’ve got to give your heart and soul to every ball when you’re on the field and that will be my commitment to the group.

“If that means one test match, three test matches or six, I’ll give it everything. Ultimately, as bowlers we want to be fit and fresh now but also for the final test of the summer at the oval.

“So it’ll be about managing workloads and making sure whoever walks on the park is ready to go for that week and making sure we’ve got enough bowlers in six or seven weeks’ time as well.”

Stuart Broad (Associated Press)
Broad has taken 574 Test wickets, more than any England bowler apart from James Anderson

England’s bowling department received a boost ahead of the Ireland Test when a scan gave Ollie Robinson the all-clear, despite an ankle problem that had forced him out of Sussex’s County Championship match against Glamorgan last weekend.

Robinson’s fitness is welcome news, particularly as England are already resigned to taking on Ireland and Australia without his county colleague Jofra Archer, who is ruled out of the entire summer with a stress fracture of the elbow.

“We all know the great strength Jofra brings to the group,” said Broad. “During the IPL he was managing his elbow and it was obviously causing him some discomfort.

Thursday 1st June 10:00am

“It’s devastating for him but also for us as a group because, as cricket fans, you want to see the best delivering their skills.

“I was at mid-on during that spell he bowled to Steve Smith at Lord’s (in 2019) and it was stunning to watch and experience. He’s got a goal now to get ready for the 50-over World Cup in October and I fully believe he’ll do it.”

Broad was also in County Championship action last weekend, featuring for Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge – while his beloved Nottingham Forest defeated Arsenal to secure Premier League safety just across the road on Saturday.

England's Jofra Archer celebrates with England's Ben Stokes after taking the wicket of Australia's Marnus Labuschagne during the second day of the fifth Ashes test match between England and Australia at the Oval cricket ground in London, Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/ Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Jofra Archer (left) played a key role during the 2019 Ashes series

“It’s one of my favorite things, playing at Trent Bridge with Forest at the City Ground. We had all the red shirts in before kick-off and then they went 200 yards to watch Forest secure three points and stay in the Premier League,” he added.

“As a fan, it’s been an absolute joy all season. I think the biggest credit has to go to Steve Cooper and all the players who have bought into the philosophy so quickly and also to our owners who backed Steve Cooper all the way.

“The connection between Steve and the fans is really unique and now we can look forward to a summer of rebuilding to hopefully prolong our stay as a Premier League club.”

Watch every match from the men’s and women’s Ashes live on Sky Sports. You can also follow videos and over-by-over text commentary across Sky Sports’ digital platforms. Live coverage of the first test is live from June 16-20 on Sky sports cricket.