Nottinghamshire and England cricket star Stuart Broad has spoken for the first time since he was axed from his country’s Test match squad.
England’s second best Test bowler of all time has been controversially dropped for the upcoming three matches in the West Indies, the first of which starts on March 8.
Sir Andrew Strauss is the interim managing director of men’s cricket for the English Cricket Board (ECB) after Chris Silverwood was sacked from the role following England’s 4-0 loss to Australia in The Ashes.
Picking the team, Strauss spearheading a selection panel decided to omit both Broad and Jimmy Anderson.
The Trent Bridge star is only behind Anderson in the amount of Test wickets claimed for England, with Broad on 530 and Anderson on 647, making a combined total of 1,177.
In his column with the Daily Mail, Broad said: “I always try to find a positive in the hand that has been dealt to me.
“To be honest, though, that’s been quite tricky this time because the decision to leave me out of the tour of West Indies has hit me pretty hard.
“Not to big it up too much but it has affected my sleep.
“I said to my partner Mollie (King) one morning that my body felt sore.
“She suggested that would be stress.
“No, I can’t pretend I am as good as gold, because I am not.
“It would be wrong to act like everything’s OK.”
Broad says after taking 11 wickets in the final two Ashes matches, he feels he is still Test match standard and ‘world class’ based on performances in the past eight years.
He said: “It makes it even more upsetting that they don’t see me part of their immediate plans, especially with a view to looking at a way of winning away from home, which was briefly explained to me.
“The decision has been made by a new selection panel really and that decision will arguably differ from the one a new director of cricket or head coach will make in a few months’ time.
“I am in the top three bowlers in the country and whether I play – or indeed Jimmy plays – when we resume international cricket in June will be a call for new eyes to decide.
“I could take being dropped if I had let my standards slip but facing up to being overlooked when they haven’t is another thing altogether.
“I am struggling to put things into context.
“It’s hard to do so when all you’ve had is a five-minute phone call and nothing else.
“Has this episode changed the way I think about my career?
“I just can’t answer that at the moment.
“Understandably, people will ask if there has therefore been some fall-out behind the scenes, a bit of a rumble during the Ashes, but I can categorically say that is not the case.
“Hence, neither Jimmy nor I saw this coming.
“We were blindsided.
“What I don’t want to do, is pick up a cricket ball for a couple of weeks.
“I will do so when I have decided whether to jump at the latest challenge set for me.”
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