Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

It's Wrong to Write off Our World Cup Bid, Says Fired-Up Broad

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

It's Wrong to Write off Our World Cup Bid, Says Fired-Up Broad

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Collomosse Cricket Correspondent

WHEN Stuart Broad is thrown the white ball for the first time at the MCG tomorrow, all those lonely, chilly mornings will seem worthwhile.

As his England team-mates contested a one-day series in Sri Lanka late last year, Broad was at home in Nottingham, pounding the road to recovery from knee surgery. Gym sessions at the crack of dawn were as far removed as it can be from the excitement of a capacity crowd in Melbourne and it must have been difficult for Broad, 28, to imagine himself there.

Now Broad is fully fit and if England are to cause a surprise by beating Australia and advancing deep into the World Cup, they need him to remain so. "On those cold, dark mornings you need a little bit of motivation, so I owe a lot to [Nottinghamshire physio] Jon Alty and [ECB physio] Ben Langley," the fast bowler told Standard Sport.

"Before the operation in September, I was at the stage with my knee where I could barely sleep. For a while afterwards, I wasn't doing much more than lying on the sofa. But the surgeon was fantastic. It wasn't long before I was able to start working again and get back to feeling fit and strong."

Even though their one-day cricket has improved since Eoin Morgan replaced Alastair Cook as captain in December, England are still among the outsiders to win the trophy. Co-hosts Australia and New Zealand look a class above Morgan's side, as do South Africa. Although the conditions do not favour the Asian sides, Sri Lanka and India's one-day pedigree is good and Pakistan are always dangerous in the shorter forms of the game.

Broad believes, though, that England should fear nobody. "It's not like rugby where you have the All Blacks, or in the Premier League where you have Chelsea," he said. "With those sides, you're thinking 'How do we beat them?' "There is no one in cricket who England would look at and think: 'We haven't got a chance here.' It's a very open tournament and very hard to predict. Home advantage could be big for Australia but other sides have played good cricket there, too.

"If you can get three or four guys to have a fantastic tournament, you can go a long way. …

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