Former England skipper Nasser Hussain has said that pace bowler Stuart Broad is justified in reacting with “such anger and frustration” after he was dropped from the side for the three-match Test series against the West Indies in the Caribbean next month.
Both of England’s leading wicket-takers, 35-year-old Broad and 39-year-old Jimmy Anderson, were dropped for the Caribbean tour in the aftermath of the 0-4 Ashes defeat in Australia.
While the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) interim managing, Andrew Strauss, has been quoted as saying that the recent selection news does not necessarily mean the end of the careers of Broad and Anderson — two of the highest wicket-takers not just in England but in the world –, Broad said in his column for Mail on Sunday after being dropped that the decision had “affected his sleep” and he was still trying to come to terms with the ECB decision.
Hussain said in his column for Daily Mail on Monday that the ECB could not end a “superb career in a five-minute telephone call”, adding that Broad and Anderson were anything but diminishing cricketers and England’s batting problems were not their fault.
“It is little wonder Stuart Broad has reacted with such anger and frustration to England’s decision to drop him and Jimmy Anderson for their Caribbean tour. The passion he showed in his Mail on Sunday column is typical of Broad,” said Hussain.
“Both him and Anderson care deeply about playing for their country and have done for many years. We can’t expect them to give their all and show how much playing for England means to them and not be upset when it is harshly taken away. Selection is about picking a side to win your next Test against the opposition and conditions in front of you, but you do need to have some kind of future planning,” opined Hussain.
The former England player said that the problem with his country’s cricket is that over the last few years the ECB has done too much future planning, deciding well in advance which players will play and not concentrating enough on their next task.
“If England’s next Test, against West Indies on March 8, was the World Test Championship final, would Broad and Anderson have been on the plane? Of course they would. They are anything but diminishing cricketers, as they have shown over the last couple of years. Anderson, in particular, has proven himself, far more than a one-dimensional bowler. His away form has been phenomenal,” said Hussain.