England intend to harness the renewed fervour of their supporters to regain the Ashes. With the series against Australia starting in 10 days in Cardiff, a mood of optimism is suddenly sweeping the nation after the thrillingly entertaining tour by New Zealand.
Stuart Broad, part of an England new-ball attack which will be crucial to the campaign, is certain that the crowds will be a key force for good.
“We’re lucky in England, getting good crowds all the time, but there is a different vibe when you turn up for an Ashes Test,” he said. “They are more passionate about it, they are a little bit more desperate not to let the Australians have anything.
“As an England team we won’t use the crowd to get at the Aussies, we’ll certainly use them to get at us, to go with the motion. You can see from the Lord’s Test against New Zealand, it was phenomenal, getting behind us and leading us to a win.
“You saw in the one-day series, it looked like the crowds were really behind the team and enjoying the style of cricket the team were playing.”
England’s new, vibrant approach has clearly lifted their supporters. There is a determination among the players that it should continue in the Ashes.
Broad seized the opportunity not only to point out the potential difference in the players’ attitudes to the series but to the behaviour of the crowds. He recalled the pre-series incident on the 2013 tour when the Australia batsman, David Warner, punched his England counterpart Joe Root in a late-night bar.
“I think England fans are different to Australians, wanting our team to do well rather than bully the other teams. I’m sure they will get right behind us. Well, when Warner punched Rooty, he got the odd boo from time to time. I’m sure there will be a bit of banter here and there but that is what Ashes cricket is all about.
“The crowd can play a huge part but you have to control yourself. I’m fortunate in having experience of both sides of that and can control myself with an angry crowd and passionate England crowds.”Reuse content