Every single phrase from Broad’s post-game news conference at The Oval
Stuart Broad announced his retirement from professional cricket after the conclusion of the third day of the fifth men’s Ashes Test.
Stuart Broad announced his retirement from professional cricket after the conclusion of the third day of the fifth men’s Ashes Test. Later that evening, he spoke to the media at a press conference, and this is what he stated:
Stuart, congratulations on your nearly completed career. Could you just tell us how you’ve been feeling since you started telling people—Stokesy [Ben Stokes], the squad, the world?
To be honest, I’m feeling fantastic. I’ve probably been thinking about it for a number of weeks, and up until last night, I was just sitting in my room, umming and ahhing and talking to Mollie [King’s wife].
‘Can I come and visit you?’ I texted Stokesy at half-eight. ‘That’s me; thanks for everything you’ve done for me,’ I said as I went in and shook his hand. I feel fantastic, and I feel even better knowing that we had a fantastic day today. I was apprehensive this morning, thinking that if we lost early wickets, I’d be sad.
But to see the boys play and entertain the way they did—and I thought the atmosphere here today was fantastic—it felt great. And we’ve put ourselves in a position where I wish we could try to chase ten wickets for an Ashes victory. So, an Ashes Test match victory
You’ve seen a lot of folks come in and out of the setup in your 16 years. Some people depart on their own terms, while others do not. Was that part of the feeling for you: do you feel satisfied that you’re walking away with a terrific series behind you?
Yes, absolutely. I knew deep down that I wanted to retire from cricket at its pinnacle. Part of me wanted to know if I could still do it after I quit. I’ve had a lifelong obsession with the Ashes, and the prospect of bowling my last ball and facing my last ball against Australia makes me happy. That has come to pass.
Finally, in April, I established a target for myself to be healthy and available for the captain for five Ashes Test matches. And to play all of them and be a part of them is a truly unique experience. It’s been the most delightful, amusing, and exciting series I’ve seen in a long time. Finally, I’m in love with the game; I still enjoy playing it; I enjoy being in the locker room; and I wanted to take those memories with me when I left the game. That will undoubtedly keep me enamored with the game of cricket for the rest of my life.
You’re coming in nice, calm, and relaxed. Do you believe tomorrow will be different?
Oh, it’s all a jumble in my head. Don’t be concerned. I just told Danny [Reuben, England men’s media manager] after an interview outside that I couldn’t recall a single thing I said. It’s undeniably emotional.
Last night, I told Stokesy and Baz [Brendon McCullum] and felt relieved and energized by telling someone outside of my bubble. Then I tried to inform Rooty [Joe Root] this morning but couldn’t say anything. I just shook his hand again and said, ‘That’s me,’ and that was all that came out. I just couldn’t say anything. We just hugged.
When we arrived at the stadium, I immediately informed the boys in the locker room. I’m the chairperson and decision-maker in the small football game we play, so I had to hand the chair over to Ben Duckett. That’s how I got started. Then, I merely said, ‘Look, fellas, this’ll be my final game’.
You’re heading to Sky Sports immediately, into the commentary box…
I’ll be at the golf course! Well, I say that because I’m going to babysit Annabella. I suppose I’ve got 12 days of commentary coming up through the Hundred and Few ODIs that have been in the diary for six months or so, which is extremely exciting to have in the schedule.
And then there’s obviously nothing in the winter because I wasn’t sure what my winter intentions were. So, spend some time with your family and see where the wind takes you.
Are you delighted that you got a bat today, Stuart? And can you talk about going away with Jimmy [Anderson], both of whom are not out, and what tomorrow or Monday might hold for you and your best friend?
Yeah, I mean, I stepped out to bat, and Woody [Mark Wood] was out there with a big beaming smile and just said, ‘This is a fantastic pleasure!’. That collaboration lasted around four balls!
Being out there with Jim was fantastic—his reverse sweep, his slog sweep. I don’t think he appreciated Mitchell Starc’s bouncer, which smacked him on the arm. I’m not sure what we’ll do tomorrow, whether we’ll bat or bowl, but if we do, what a delight it will be to walk out there with Jimmy, bat in hand, and then probably instantly with ball in hand.
On finishing precisely here [at The Oval]. Obviously, it’s a location where many great careers have ended, but it’s also where your career began in 2009, in an Ashes Test. Is there any sense of completion?
You are completely correct. That was the first time I felt like I belonged on the international stage. It was the first time I bowled a spell that transformed a game and grabbed crucial wickets. And, because The Oval is always the last Test of the summer during my career, it contains a lot of special memories for me. It’s one of the best grounds in the world, in my opinion. The audience today reinforced in my mind how fantastic this place is.
We have some fantastic memories of winning series here. We’re not going to win this series, but we can still finish with a fantastic result. And I believe that if we can get this series to 2-2, we can be quite proud of how we’ve handled it. I believe we’ve all had a great time being a part of this series. Although we didn’t quite get it perfect in the first few games, I believe we’ve been terrific since Leeds. So The Oval is definitely one of the top five venues, and it would be an honor to bowl my final ball here.
Given that you don’t declare overnight and that tomorrow could be your last day of Tests, how ideal would it be to bat, bowl, and field?
To be honest, I’d rather bowl and field! To be honest, it felt strange coming out to bat. I began putting on my pads when Zak Crawley said, ‘You won’t miss putting your pads on, will you?’ ‘No, not at all,’ I said.
But actually, I loved being out there; it was a pleasure to be out there with two fantastic buddies and walk off past Mo [Moeen Ali], who gave me a big fist-tap of the gloves and simply said, ‘Have a great night, mate. ‘Enjoy every minute’.
To be honest, one of the factors that influenced my decision was: I look around this changing room and see both players and management; I’ve played so much cricket with the people in this changing room, and it still feels like my changing room. I’ve made fantastic friends and had great experiences with that bunch of players, and I wanted to leave the game playing with two people at the top, Baz and Stokesy, who have made the last 14 months of my career an absolute joy.
I’ve learned so much about leadership, management, and how to handle people from those two, and I just feel like I’m in a fantastic place as a player and as a person, and I’m extremely happy and content right now.
Yuvraj Singh’s six sixes were the first time you rose to prominence in world cricket, and I apologize for bringing this up. Looking back 16 years, can you relate to the person, bowling, hair—everything from back then—and discuss your progress since then?
Yes, it was clearly a difficult day. What if I had been 21 or 22?  I learned a lot. I built a mental routine around that event, knowing that I was falling short as an international performer at the time. I’d rushed through my preparation. I didn’t have any kind of pre-game ritual. I didn’t have much focus, but following that event, I began to develop my ‘warrior mode,’ as I call it.
Of course, I wish that had not happened. I believe the fact that it was a dead rubber helped me because it didn’t feel like I’d knocked us out of the World Cup or whatever. But I believe it toughened me up to become the competitor I am today and has propelled me significantly forward.
You certainly go through tremendous peaks and troughs, and if you look at Stokesy’s career, he’s done the same thing. The majority of players have But, ultimately, I believe it is bouncebackability and the ability to put bad days behind you because, for whatever reason (15, 16 years), you have a lot more bad days than good days in cricket, and you have to be able to deal with them in order for your good days to flourish.
I’m curious what Jimmy thought when you told him and whether you believe it will influence his own plans.
Jimmy will undoubtedly continue He’s feeling pretty good and fresh, and after this series, he’ll have a little of a break before heading to India, where he has a terrific record. Finally, I don’t think it seemed quite appropriate for the two of us to go together. We needed some form of crossover—not that it influenced my selection.
I was thrilled to hear Jimmy was going to keep going and carry on, because it’s wonderful to know that one half of that relationship will be present in the locker room until Jimmy decides his time is done.
How much influence has fatherhood had on this decision?
That is an excellent question. It’s a difficult question to answer because there’s a significant hiatus following this series, so I was already taking a lot of time off. But even within this Ashes series—we played Ireland in the first week of June—I believe I’ve only been home for seven or eight nights. Mollie hasn’t been able to travel because she works Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
I feel like I haven’t seen Annabella and Mollie as much as I would like, especially at such a young age. I adore everything about being a father, and I intend to devote all of my time and energy to becoming a great father. Did it influence my decision? Potentially. There’s something about being able to spend more time at home that makes my heart sing.
Your 151 wickets against Australia are the most of any bowler in history. Do you think they’ll be pleased you’re not coming back, and why do you believe you’ve had success against Australia in particular?
I believe my family has a connection to Ashes cricket. I was obsessed with it from a very young age.
Finally, during my important years as a kid playing cricket, we weren’t winning many Ashes Tests, which fueled my drive and desire to be a member of a side that could beat Australia. As a player, I believe I have a decent record against Australia in England. Apart from  10-11, they’re a beast of a team to get close to at home.
Finally, I believe that the competitiveness that Australia brings to cricket brings out the best in me. I adore eye-to-eye combat. I love the excitement the crowd gives, the battles, and the rivalries, and I know my emotions and competitive spirit have to be sky-high for me to be a good bowler.
They’ve been there every single time I’ve raced in with a ball in my hand against Australia. It makes me happy to have 150 Test wickets against the Aussies and to be in the company of Warney and Glenn [McGrath]. I enjoyed every minute of my time in Australia, with the exception of Mitchell Johnson’s bowling in Brisbane, which was horrible.
You’ve mentioned how competing brings out the best in you. How much will you miss that competition?
After speaking with a few teammates who have left the game, I believe that is something that will be difficult to replace. I’ll probably start with some five-a-side football on Monday nights to see how that goes. You are not permitted to do so as an England cricketer. I might be able to start on Sunday or Monday.
You must find new ways to fuel your competitive urge since you cannot simply do nothing and expect your competitive instinct to disappear. I could attempt to persuade Mollie that it needs to be golf tournaments or something, but I doubt she’d believe me.
Strictly [Come Dancing]?
No, not strictly. I shiver at the prospect of dancing in front of 11 million people.
How do you hope that everyone remembers you when they look back at your career?
Growing up, I had sporting heroes like Martin Johnson and Stuart Pearce. I was inspired by their enthusiasm and energy as I observed them. I never looked at them and thought, ‘I could offer more for that shirt’.
Finally, I would never want anyone in the crowd, watching at home, or hearing on the radio to think, ‘He’s not putting in,’ or ‘He’s not giving everything or putting his heart and soul into it.’
I am aware that I am not the most skilled player who has ever played. I know I have to use every ounce of my competitive spirit, passion, and effort to get anything out of my abilities. And I’d say that every time I put on a Nottinghamshire or England shirt, I’ve given my heart and soul.
I don’t think there are many cricket fans out there who would think I slacked off for a moment.
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