Interviews

International Cricket 2010: Stuart Broad

The England all-rounder speaks exclusively to CVG

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What are you going to wish for this year then?

Well there's only one isn't there? But it has been a fantastic year but it's been down to the hard work of the management and the players, the amount of planning, preparation and training, the unseen hard-work in the gym and on the field has really paid off and I think that's the proudest thing the players and the management can take out of it. Yes, we've won but the way we've won it and the hard work we put in to get there has been fantastic.

Looking more at your personal development, you're doing some strengthening work at the moment. Has that been tough? What does that involve?

Yeah it's been really tough actually; I've been going to Loughborough University, the cricket academy every day, alternating between lower-body and upper-body weights.

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It's basically a maximum strength programme so I'll be lifting as heavy a weight as I can manage, with my technique obviously being right and building strength that way. I've certainly been sore over the past few weeks it has really taken it out on my body but I think it certainly is going to benefit me in the long run, a lot of people get into the England side at 24, 25 or 26 years of age, whereas I got in at 19 and I hadn't had those years to develop my strength. So I've tried to cram in a couple of years of strength work into three weeks and I do feel good for it. It was disappointing to miss out the test match series and a winning campaign [against Bangladesh] but I see the long-term benefits and it also sits well with me that the hierarchy are looking after me in that way because it means I'm in their plans for the future.

Is there any one form of the game you enjoy playing more than others?

I enjoy playing all of cricket but I certainly relish the Test match stuff as the pinnacle of the game, there's nothing like getting your Test match cap and walking out at Lords in front of 30,000 people, the long-room clapping you out, it's a very special occasion.

I think test cricket is a true test of you as a cricketer, your strength mentally, physically and technically. You have to be the best to survive in Test cricket, whereas in 20/20 you can be a bit of a bully-big-hitter and get away with it. I always think test cricket will be at the pinnacle and I certainly believe that, it's what I've worked for in my career and I love playing it.

Looking forward, Pakistan are next and hopefully you're back in contention for that but we couldn't leave without talking about next winter and Australia away.

Andrew Strauss is a big influence in the changing room and he's very focused on not looking too far ahead, he talks about how even in Test matches you look at the first hour, you look at your first ball you don't look at the end result so I think that's what the team will be focused on throughout the whole summer.

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But also, we've got four test matches against Pakistan, there's a huge opportunity for us to take huge momentum into the Ashes series. So we will just focus on one spell at a time, one game at a time but also at the end of the tunnel there's a huge opportunity for us to play some fantastic, confidence-building cricket leading into a tough Ashes tour.

I think this winter will have put us in good stead; we had a tough tour of South Africa but came out of that very well. We played some really strong cricket over there and I think it will give us confidence leading into an Ashes tour in Australia.

Finally, there looks to be some interesting bowing competition with the emergence of Steve Finn and Shahzad bowling those reverse- yorkers at 90 miles an hour, it should quite a decent bowling attack.

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