ENGLAND bowler Stuart Broad insists he remains unrepentant over his refusal to walk during the Ashes and has invited Australian fans to abuse him in the return series, insisting it will only inspire him.
Broad sparked controversy by staying at the crease when officials failed to spot an edge during the first Test earlier this year – an act that furious Aussie coach Darren Lehmann labelled “blatant cheating”.
But the Nottinghamshire paceman has hinted he is ready to do it again, arguing that any Australian player would have done the same in order to salvage such a high-stakes match.
“We would have lost the game. I have never been a walker so why would I walk because the umpire had given me not out?” Broad said.
“There was no problem between the teams because the Aussies don’t walk. Cricket is quite an old-fashioned sport and is still viewed in some quarters as ‘you should have a cup of tea and everything will be fine’. But let’s make no mistake about it. We are not playing for a cheese sandwich; we are playing in an Ashes series.”
Lehmann, who later apologised to Broad, also urged Australian supporters to target the England star when the holders defend the urn. Far from being cowed, the 27-year-old says he would thrive on the sledging.
“I’m excited, it gets the blood going a little bit,” he added. “An Ashes Test is always going to be lively. I think I’ll get singled out for some stick but I’m not going to take that as a personal attack.
“Guys come out to the cricket to have a few beers and a bit of banter and then they go home and chill. It’s part and parcel. Premier League footballers get it every weekend.
“I wouldn’t say I enjoy it, but I think it will improve my cricket. Big games I tend to thrive off. When I am getting a bit of stick it will give me a bit more.”
Broad predicts that Lehmann and former Australia spinner Shane Warne, who has called Alastair Cook’s England “boring”, will attempt to unsettle the tourists – but warned them not to bother.
“Lehmann will try mind games, but you’d expect Australia to try to get inside our bubble,” he told the BBC.
“It’s a PR game. I see Warne as working for Australia. We are not listening to what he says.”
2013-14 Ashes dates
1st Test: 21-25 November, Brisbane
2nd Test: 5-9 December, Adelaide
3rd Test: 13-17 December, Perth
4th Test: 26-30 December, Melbourne
5th Test: 3-7 January, Sydney