International Cricket 2010: Stuart Broad
11th Jun 2010 | 15:12
It's strange to think that at the age of just 23, Stuart Broad is already one of the England cricket team's established stars. The son of former England batsman Chris, Broad made his debut in an England shirt at the tender age of 19, but is already an Ashes and World Cup winner, as well a key member of the bowling attack and a hard-hitting late order batsman.
The brand new face of Codemaster's International Cricket 2010, CVG caught up with him at the home of cricket Lord's, to talk about gaming, his personal development programme, that amazing World Cup win and the prospect for the Ashes series this winter, as well as notching up a personal coaching session from this cheerful, self-effacing yet supremely talented young player.
It must be very pleasing to be chosen as the cover star for International Cricket 2010?
Stuart Broad: Very much so yes, it's an exciting project to be involved in. I've had a cheeky play of the game before its release and it's good fun, obviously playing as myself, I think I've got more skills in the game than I have in real life.
The graphics are fantastic in the game; the detail in the stadium, the players and the kits is brilliant. One recommendation, if you're playing against your mate and you've played it and he hasn't, get him on a fifth-day turning wicket and bowl spin at them because turning is unbelievable in that game.
Did you do any kind of input into the making of the game or did you come in at a later stage?
No, it's certainly not my field to help with the actual development, but I played the last one and certainly there is an improvement in this game and as I say, the gameplay is really realistic and it's a pretty highly skilled game, you have to be on your toes. A great addition to the game is you can play a one-day international but it's a five-over game so you can play a game within fifteen or twenty minutes with your mate and it has everything. That's the game I really enjoyed playing, it tests you out.
Are you much of a gamer yourself away from cricket?
Yeah, I take my PlayStation 3 on tour. The lads like getting together with four controllers and play games when there's not a huge amount of else to do. On tour I try and experience as much as I can out of the hotels, playing golf and seeing the country but are some times there are some times where we are on hotel lockdown and we're not allowed to leave so it's certainly good for that, I really enjoy my gaming.
So what's your favourite game, what do the England boys play on tour?
I take them all, we do play cricket and I do like my FIFA but I'm very excited for the new F1 game that Codemasters are bringing out, it's coming out in September I think, I'm a big F1 fan and I've always enjoyed the motor-racing games so I'm excited about that and waiting for its arrival for the Ashes tour.
You're a World Cup winner and an Ashes winner all at the tender age of 23, do you have to pinch yourself sometimes?
It's been an incredible year. Winning the Ashes was obviously a fantastic experience; it took a lot of hard work over six or seven weeks and the whole country was behind us, but it was a really good feeling.
I think we were the underdogs for the 20/20 world cup, I don't think anyone thought we would go and play the way we did and not only win it but the way we won it; we really beat teams strongly and played fantastically.
I actually saw a quote I said this time last year where I said I would never be happy in my career unless I, and the team could win an Ashes series in the World Cup or something, and managed to do it within a year. I guess I need to try and reset my goals.
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.
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.
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.
Definitely, I think you always need a stable of bowlers in Test-match cricket because it's tough on the body and I think players always perform at their best when they've got someone breathing down their neck.
It's fantastic to have that strength and depth and it's a great prospect for English cricket to have these players coming in so young, it's an exciting time to be an England cricketer and hopefully it can continue for a long time.