Broad Keen To Contribute For Nottinghamshire
Recuperating England fast bowler Stuart Broad is keen to play a big part in Nottinghamshire's defence of their LV= County Championship.
Broad was unlucky to suffer two separate abdominal injuries over the winter that first cut short his Ashes campaign and then, cruelly, ended his World Cup early as well.
He has just signed a new three-year contract with Nottinghamshire - the terms of which will only kick in should he lose his central contract with the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) - to affirm his connection with the Midlands club.
"I'm going to play three games," he told reporters at Nottinghamshire's press day at Trent Bridge. "I've got two Championship games for Notts. I love playing at Trent Bridge - it's always a good cricket wicket, hopefully I can make good contributions to towards the team to help us get a strong start, like we did last year.
"I think that was crucial to our championship trials and the fact we were so many points ahead by June, everyone was playing catch up.
"When I have played it's been great to settle back into the changing room and make an impact. That's not going to happen every game, but I’ve been fortunate when coming to get some wickets."
And Broad now sees himself as providing an insight for the younger players in the squad and helping them benefit from his experiences of international cricket.
"It's about coming back to the changing room, seeing the lads, and offering help to the younger bowlers as well. I do love coming back and playing, and that's why i've extended my stay here another three years."
Reflecting on a winter of mixed emotions, Broad was in philosophical mood, explaining how he has had to come to terms with his injuries.
"To get two (stomach injuries) in the space of six months is a little disappointing but I’m also very fresh for this summer, and very excited for two world cup finalists to come into town," he said.
"Time's a great healer," he added. "Obviously when I got ruled out of The Ashes I was heart-broken, I mean I knew I was in big trouble when I came off the pitch and the scan just proved it was a complete tear.
"It took me weeks to get over it but at the end of the day it is a part of being a sportsman, you have to accept it when it comes along, hopefully I’ll get back fit and have a good summer.
"It was a bit frustrating really, it didn't feel as severe as the tear, but it felt enough so that I couldn't bowl. Think I ended up missing two of the world cup, maybe three, but the whole time of the World Cup was frustrating.
"I was feeling below par, obviously it's not ideal to be playing when you're not 100%, so I don't know if that had anything to with the injury. It was quite a stop start winter for me and I’m hoping this summer I can play consistently."
Key to Broad getting back into his stride and eventually back into the England team will be a strong start, and that is exactly what he hopes he can help Nottinghamshire gain. The Outlaws begin their Champinship defence against Hampshire on 14th April, and make them 5/1 to make it two winning seasons in a row.
Broad is acutely aware of the hard work that is also necessary, saying, "It's pretty rare you get back to back Championship wins, and that’s our aim as a team.
"We've talked about that horrible word complacency. It's certainly something to be aware of, but not be scared to talk about. You know after a Championship you have to come back and be doubly as good the next year because teams will come here knowing we're champions and want to knock us over and it's important we don't let that happen.
"Our home form was very good last year, and I think that’s crucial - you win your home games to make sure you're up there. And I think we're very fortunate with the wickets we play on here; you score, you get great value for your runs, but you can also get 20 wickets on them. And it will be good to start the season strongly."
© Cricket World 2011