Stuart Broad on Ed Smith

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Seamer suggests ‘communication disappeared’ when Ed Smith was national selector

Stuart Broad has suggested the “communication disappeared” when Ed Smith was national selector but insisted he would “understand” if he is left out of England’s Test side at any stage this summer.

Broad took to Sky Sports to register his anger and disappointment after he was left out of England’s side for the first Test of last summer. He made his point even more eloquently on the pitch, being named England’s player of the series just a few weeks later.

While Broad is adamant he would like to play all seven Tests in the English summer, he accepts it is not “realistic” to play every game and says he would “absolutely” understand if the team management decided to leave him out to “build experience into different players”.

“Last year I was disgruntled because the selectors had said the first Test team of the summer will be our best team,” Broad said. “For someone who had been through the Ashes successfully, been through South Africa successfully and stayed fit, I felt it was my shirt. I felt I was in the best team. So to be told I suddenly wasn’t in the best team with my record in England, that’s what upset me.

“Is it realistic I’m going to play every Test? No. But if the communication is done well then you understand the reasons for it. You understand why you might miss certain games to be fit for other games. That along with building experience into different players.

“If I had a choice I’d want to play all seven Tests. Part of the reason I don’t play white ball cricket any more is so I’m fit and available for Test cricket and fresh when I’m needed. But if Chris Silverwood decides he needs to get experience into some players and have a look at a different line-up and it’s explained in a good way… absolutely, I would understand.

“I pride myself on being available and ready. I’m bowling well, taking wickets for Notts and helping win games. I don’t think many could argue against Jimmy and I being in the best bowling attack in England, but if you need to get experience and overs into bowlers that is what it is.

“It’s when the communication disappears; that’s when players can’t see reasons or see through it.”

That complaint about communication would appear to be directed firmly towards Smith. While Broad rates Smith’s overall as “a success”, he admits their own relationship was strained.