Stuart Broad admits he was ‘angry’ and ‘gutted’ after being left out of England’s team for the first Test of the summer against West Indies.
Broad, England’s second-leading wicket-taker in history and top wicket-taker over the past two years, missed out on a place as the hosts opted for a pace attack of James Anderson, Jofra Archer and Mark Wood in the opening Test at the Ageas Bowl.
Stand-in skipper Ben Stokes said it was a ‘very difficult’ decision to leave Broad out and the legendary bowler admits he was incredibly frustrated by the move.
‘I found out about 6pm the night before the game. Stokesy told me we were just going with extra pace in these conditions,’ said Broad, who has taken 485 Test wickets.
‘I spoke to [England national selector] Ed Smith last night and he said he was [only] involved in picking the 13 and this [team] was picked purely for this pitch.
‘I wanted clarification on my future and I was given pretty positive feedback. I’m not a particularly emotional person but I’ve found the last couple of days quite tough.
‘To say I’m disappointed would be an understatement. You only get disappointed if you drop your phone and break your screen.
‘I’ve been frustrated, angry, gutted – because it’s quite a hard decision to understand. I’ve probably bowled the best I’ve ever bowled in the last couple of years.
‘I felt like it was my shirt having been in the team through the Ashes and going to South Africa and winning there.’
With England set to play six Test matches between now and the end of August, opportunities will undoubtedly present themselves for Broad as head coach Chris Silverwood looks to rotate his attack.
The 34-year-old added: ‘It is hard to take but also I’m quite pleased I feel frustrated and feel gutted and angry because if I didn’t, I’d have a different decision to make.
‘So I don’t think I’ve got anything to prove – England know what I can do. The selectors know what I can do.
‘And when I get that opportunity again you can bet I’ll be on the money. We play 12 months of the year and some guys play all three formats.
‘Very rarely do you get guys fit and available for each Test match. That’s where selection has been tricky. That’s where it has been tough and that’s where it’s frustrating when you don’t play.
‘But also you can’t argue the bowlers walking on that field don’t deserve to play as well, everyone deserves to play. It’s just annoying when it’s not you in that XI.’
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