Stuart Broad is being asked to consider giving up his position as England’s Twenty20 captain to prolong his international career amid concerns over his knee problems.
After watching the 27-year-old fast bowler, who has been suffering from tendinitis in his right knee, bowl his first overs of the season for Nottinghamshire on Monday, the England selector Mick Newell admitted one of the formats might have to be sacrificed.
“Stuart is a key man for Test cricket and one-day internationals, so in terms of managing his fitness I think we are going to have to look at Twenty20,” Newell said. “The last two or three years he has picked up a lot of little things and he would want to have played more than he has.
“There is a lot of ODI cricket coming up and how you manage the workload for players like Stuart as you prepare for the 50-over World Cup next February will be looked at.”
Broad, who needed painkillers to get through the World Twenty20 this spring and was rested for England’s current one-day series against Sri Lanka, said this month he wanted to continue in all formats but Newell, who is also Nottinghamshire’s director of cricket, said he thought the player would accept giving up one, even if it means relinquishing the prestige of being an England captain.
“I think he will get his head around that,” Newell said. “He is ambitious, but captaincy in a longer form of the game, perhaps one-day cricket, remains a possibility.”
Broad, who has the current match against Durham and a Championship fixture against Sussex next week to prove his fitness before the first Test against Sri Lanka on 12 June at Lord’s, settled into his rhythm quickly with the new ball yesterday. Rain prevented any play after lunch, with Durham 78 for 2 in reply to Nottinghamshire’s 377. Broad did not bowl again after a wicketless six-over opening spell.
“I was quite impressed. He bowled the right length and swung the ball,” Newell said. “But the forecast for the next two days is poor and if he comes out of this game with only six overs he will need to bowl a lot at Hove.”
Newell said the same applied to all-rounder Ben Stokes, who is also making his comeback in this match after a broken wrist.
“Ben has that bit of magic, he makes things happen,” Newell said. “He is a real competitor and once he is fully fit, as a fourth seamer he gives England what Shane Watson gives to Australia. Durham play Middlesex next and we will be looking at how much cricket he can get in.
“After the winter, the first Test against Sri Lanka is a massive game for England and you have to go in with people who are 100 per cent fit.”