Broad Has No Problem with Sledging

Posted: Thursday, November 28, 2013 by Laura in Labels: , , , , , , , ,

England all-rounder Stuart Broad has revealed that he has no concerns over what was said between England and Australia players on the field during the first test but he was critical of some of the off-the field talk from the Australians.

England suffered a humiliating defeat by 381 runs in the first Ashes test at Brisbane with their batsmen failing miserably to cope with the short bowling of Mitchell Johnson in particular.

As well as the aggressive short pitched bowling there was also a torrent of sledging which clearly unsettled some of the England players but, for Broad, the on the field verbals are all part of the game.

“I think the on-field stuff has been fine,” the 27 year old said. “You’re playing in an Ashes Test match – you expect it to be tough. I grew up hearing all sorts of stories about ‘sledging’, and on the field I don’t think a line’s been crossed.”

In the aftermath of the first test defeat England’s Jonathan Trott has left the tour citing a stress related illness but before his departure was announced, Australia batsman David Warner was critical of his performance.

For Broad, taking criticism of individual opposition players off the field is a step too far and he would certainly not expect that from his England side.

“Off the field, there have been some mistakes made,” Broad said. “As an England side, we pride ourselves on how we conduct ourselves when talking about the opposition, because you never know what’s going on in their changing rooms and lives,” he added.

Australia will certainly go into the second test buoyed by their dominance at Brisbane but fans know that England still have the quality to turn the series round.

If Broad and his teammates can use the Australians’ on and off the field comments as motivation to lift their game ahead of the second test at Adelaide on 5th December then they could upset the Ashes betting odds and breathe life into the series.

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Pietersen a Huge Plus for England

Posted: Friday, November 22, 2013 by Laura in Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Despite clearly not being everyone's favourite person, Kevin Pietersen's announcement that he wants to play on for England until 2016 is great news for Andy Flower and the rest of the squad.

Pietersen has rarely been too far away from controversy off the pitch and, if some reports are to be believed, he still does not enjoy a completely harmonious relationship with everyone inside the England dressing room.

He has again been in the news in the build-up to the first Ashes Test against Australia by labelling it a "boring" city during another Twitter exchange with a journalist. 

The 33-year-old has dismissed it as banter, saying he was joking around and responding to an earlier cheeky story in the press Down Under, suggesting that he was that arrogant even his own teammates do not like him.

It is no secret that he has had fall-outs with several of his fellow England players in the past and he has also endured a fractious relationship at times with the media, who have sometimes labelled him a lone wolf and a player who lets his ego get in the way of his cricket.

However, what has never been in doubt has been the Surrey star's ability with the bat and, when in form, he is rightly regarded as one of the very best modern-day batsmen around. So, from a purely cricketing perspective, it is great to hear he wants to continue playing for his adopted country for as long as possible.

The former Hampshire man will aim to further underline his reputation as one of the world's top players with a solid showing in the Ashes, and he will be towards the top of the cricket betting odds to be the tourists' top batsman in the eagerly-anticipated series.
Pietersen says winning a 50-over World Cup remains a big ambition as he has managed to achieve pretty much everything else starring in the current talented England side.

"I had coffee with [England one-day coach] Ashley Giles and said to him - I want to be with you in 2015," he said. "I've been so lucky to have done everything with this great side. We won the Twenty20 World Cup, have beaten Australia home and away and beaten India in India. 

"The only thing that hasn't been ticked is beating everybody in a World Cup 50-over tournament. I would love to be given that opportunity and I'm committed to Ashley and the England side to get there."

If Pietersen can stay injury-free over the next couple of years he may just get to tick that success off his cricket 'to-do' list as well, as England will be among the more favoured sides for the competition in the cricket betting.

There may also be more controversies to come along the road because with Pietersen on board things never seem to go quite to plan but, make no mistake, England are a much better side with the unpredictable but hugely-talented batsman in it.

Image by Gareth Williams.