England pace bowler Stuart Broad insists he "will not be tamed" in his aggressive on-field behaviour despite warnings that his attitude towards match officials risks landing him in trouble.
The 23-year-old was at the centre of a string of incidents during England's winter tours and came close to being fined in the second Test against Bangladesh in Chittagong last month when he celebrated an lbw dismissal without bothering with the essential formality of appealing to the umpire beforehand.
But Broad said last night: "I'm aware of my on-pitch behaviour but I don't want to be tamed. I haven't overstepped the mark."
Broad escaped being punished for disrespectful behaviour in Chittagong by offering an unreserved apology to umpire Rod Tucker. However, a week later in Dhaka his attitude was questioned again when he appeared to make a sarcastic appeal to umpire Tony Hill after bowling Bangladesh's Mushfiqur Rahim off bat and pad. Moments earlier, Hill had turned down an impassioned plea for leg-before.
Those incidents followed an England tour of South Africa when he complained to the match referee over a delayed referral in Centurion and was accused of ball-tampering when he trod on the ball in Durban.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan warned in December that Broad was treading a fine line by frequently appearing to question decisions. "The way he is going, he could end up being banned for a couple of matches," Vaughan said.
Sunil Gavaskar, the record-breaking Indian batsman and former ICC official, suggested Broad was being treated leniently because his father, Chris, is a match referee.
But the Nottinghamshire player is unrepentant, claiming that aggressive behaviour is essential to his game. "I'm aware of my on-pitch behaviour and while some comments have been justified, some are nonsense," he said.
"But I have not overstepped the mark. The ICC have not reprimanded me. I don't want it to get that way but I don't want to lose my passion for the game – it's in my genes. I don't want to be tamed down because I have to be in that sort of bubble to get the best out of my bowling.
"People want to watch sportsmen who care. I love to watch Wayne Rooney throwing himself about, being aggressive and passionate. I used to enjoy watching Martin Johnson play rugby because he would get really stuck in.
"I will obviously have to be quite mature in my decision-making but I wouldn't want to watch people who don't show passion on the pitch so I don't want to lose it."