England's Broad 'proud to join greats' in 600 Test wicket club - GulfToday

England's Broad 'proud to join greats' in 600 Test wicket club


Stuart Broad celebrates after taking his 600th Test wicket at Old Trafford cricket ground in Manchester on Wednesday. AFP

England's Stuart Broad said he felt proud to join some "greats of the game" after becoming just the fifth cricketer to take 600 Test wickets.

Broad found himself in elite company when he dismissed Australia's Travis Head on the opening day of the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

By having Head caught for 48, Broad joined Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan (800 Test wickets), Australia's Shane Warne (708), England's James Anderson (688) and India's Anil Kumble (619) in a select group.

Broad and Anderson, the other active bowler in this group, are the only quicks to have taken 600 Test wickets. Broad started this match, his 166th Test, on 598 wickets, having already dismissed Australia opener David Warner 17 times at this level.

But after England captain Ben Stokes won the toss, the 37-year-old Broad had Usman Khawaja lbw for three to leave Australia 15-1. Broad had to wait until the first over after tea for the landmark wicket, with Head hooking a bouncer caught by Joe Root at fine leg.

There were no more wickets for Broad on Wednesday, the seamer returning figures of 2-68 in 14 overs. Australia were 299-8 at stumps in a match England, at 2-1 down with two to play, must win to maintain their hopes of regaining the Ashes.

"It was a pretty decent day and there is something nice about getting a 600th pole (wicket) from the James Anderson End!," Broad told Sky Sports after achieving his landmark feat on the Lancashire home ground of his longtime team-mate. "It's a very special feeling.

"When I went past Glenn McGrath, my hero growing up, that was really cool," said Broad as he reflected on surpassing the Australia pace great's tally of 563 Test wickets.

'Addicted to Test cricket'

Broad's double strike on Wednesday also saw him overtake Botham as England's leading Test bowler against Australia with 150 wickets.

"I remember getting my cap from Ian Botham in Colombo (on his Test debut in 2007). I never felt that Test cricket was the dream, but having an impact on it," he said.

"I suppose it's a thing of longevity and I am addicted to Test cricket. I like the grit and competitive nature of it. It's great to be on that list with some of the greats of the game."

The then Leicestershire seamer -- Broad is now at Nottinghamshire -- had only started bowling towards the end of a school career that indicated he might follow in the footsteps of his father Chris Broad, an Ashes-winning batsman.

That batting talent was still on show during Stuart Broad's superb 169 against Pakistan at Lord's in 2010, although he has never been quite the same lower-order run-scorer since having his nose broken by a bouncer from India's Varun Aaron four years later.

Broad has become best known for his ability to suddenly turn a game on its head during match-winning spells, 20 times taking five or more wickets in a Test innings.

Three times he has taken at least 10 wickets in a Test, with his ability to generate late seam movement often proving too much for the world's leading batsmen.

The most celebrated return of Broad's career was his outstanding 8-15 at Trent Bridge during England's 2015 Ashes triumph.

By then he was already a public enemy in Australia for his refusal to walk — or give himself out — when he edged Ashton Agar to Michael Clarke at slip in an Ashes clash on the same ground two years earlier only for umpire Aleem Dar to rule in the batsman's favour.

Broad, then on 37, made 65 in a match England won by just 14 runs.

Four-time Ashes series-winner Broad, asked if playing against Australia brought the best out of him, replied: "I think so. I like the extra scrutiny and how much the public in England and Australia love it."

Agence France-Presse

Related articles