Friday 20 April 2018

Broad has last laugh at Gabba boo-boys

Nick Hoult

STUART BROAD described himself as a "silent assassin" after he responded to sustained abuse from the Gabba crowd and the Australian media by taking five wickets on the first day of the Ashes series.

Broad has been a hate figure in Australia since his failure to 'walk' during the summer Test at Trent Bridge and woke up yesterday to a front-page headline in the 'Brisbane Courier-Mail' describing him as a "smug Pommy cheat".

The same newspaper declared they would not mention Broad's name during the Ashes series, describing him instead as the "27-year-old medium pace bowler".

Broad's response was to rip through Australia's top order on the opening day before strolling into the close-of-play press conference with a copy of the offending newspaper under his arm. Asked whether his performance might make Australians regret their vocal hostility towards him, he joked: "Aussies talk less? That would be rare.

"As a team we have never focused on what the opposition are doing. We know we are a very good team and we've got a lot of experience in the team. We almost feel like silent assassins on this trip.

"We haven't been mentioned too much, we've just been going under the radar, focusing on what we had to do and all the attention has been on the Australians, which was perfect for us. Now we're here we're in for the fight and you'll see our players stand up."

TAUNTED

Broad's father Chris, the former England batsman, taunted the 'Courier-Mail' via his Twitter account during the final session of the first day, writing: "Come on the Courier Mail in Brisbane, mention the star performer's name."

Instead, this morning's 'Courier-Mail' carried a front-page story on the cricket without naming Broad and with his image removed from a picture of England players celebrating. Broad was barracked throughout the first day by the more boisterous sections of the crowd, from which stewards also ejected a supporter who had smuggled in a live pig.

Broad was booed when he took the new ball and subjected to tasteless chants whenever he bowled.

"I'm pleased my mum wasn't in the stadium," he said. "But to be honest I was singing along at one stage. I'd braced myself to expect it and actually it was good fun, I actually quite enjoyed it if I'm being really honest.

"As a player you're always focusing on your routines, not what the crowd are doing.

"But there's something about Ashes cricket that brings the best out of me, there's a little bit more niggle playing against the Aussies. I'm delighted with today's performance. But looking to the future I want a lot more."

Broad dismissed Australian captain Michael Clarke for the sixth time in eight innings with a short ball in the first over after lunch, delivering a huge blow to the Australian side.

(© Daily Telegraph, London)

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