Broad retired after the final Ashes Test at The Oval, his total of 604 wickets the sixth-highest in history

Stuart Broad: Why the retired England great doesn’t like to use the ‘R-word’

Broad retired after the final Ashes Test at The Oval, his total of 604 wickets the sixth-highest in historyStuart Broad retired after the final Ashes Test at The Oval last summer, with his total of 604 wickets the sixth highest in history

England great Stuart Broad says he is steering clear of referring to himself as a retired cricketer.

Broad wanted to “finish at the top” and ended his decorated career at the conclusion of last summer’s Ashes.

The fast bowler, 37, said he did not want his body or bowling to start letting him down and came to terms his time on field was drawing to a close.

“I try not to use that sort of R-word, I see it as a change in direction,” he told BBC East Midlands Today.

“I wanted to commit more time, your kids aren’t young forever. I just wanted to make sure I was there for them and experience as much of that upbringing as I possibly could.

“It was such an incredible summer to be a part of with the Ashes series. It was exciting, exhilarating, it had a lot of drama and ultimately it was a very difficult decision to walk away from the playing side of the game but I just weighed up exactly how I was feeling.

“England vs Australia is the pinnacle for me so it felt like the right time to go.”

‘Fairytale finish’

Stuart Broad and James AndersonAustralia gave retiring Stuart Broad a guard of honour as he walked out with his team-mate James Anderson

Broad, in his final Test before retiring, took the last two wickets as England bowled out Australia for 334 to win by 49 runs at The Oval.

His last action with the bat also saw him hit his final ball in Test cricket for six.

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It was Broad’s 55th six for England and only four players have hit more sixes for England in Tests – Ben Stokes, Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Flintoff and Ian Botham.

On reliving that emotional day he said: “It was just a fairytale finish.

“I told Stokesy [captain Stokes] on the Friday night I was going to move away from the game. If you were to ask me to write a script of how those next three days would go, I would have never believed that was going to happen, so yeah a very special time.”

Coming home

Stuart Broad on Wembley Way ahead of Nottingham Forest's play-off final win in 2022Stuart Broad was at Wembley for Nottingham Forest’s Championship play-off final win in 2022

Now that he is retired, Broad might find the time to get back to Nottingham more – the place where he was born, grew up supporting Forest and where he now has a pavilion named after him at Trent Bridge.

“Well it frees up a lot more time to come to the City Ground that’s for sure,” said Broad, who lives in London.

“I’ll definitely be around for the start of the cricket season as well in April and May with Nottinghamshire getting stuck back into it.

“I feel that might be the time that it starts to hit me that I’m a former player when the guys are building up for the County season and I won’t be doing that.

“Maybe that’s the time I start to go ‘oof’ I’m not playing the game anymore but ultimately every time I step into Trent Bridge as a ground, it brings back so many special memories and I love the place.”

‘I need to relax’

Stuart Broad in action for NottinghamshireBroad joined Nottinghamshire in 2008 and played 43 times at Trent Bridge for Notts and England, taking 190 wickets

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The love affair between Broad and Trent Bridge is one that has given cricket fans memories over the years that will last forever.

When asked what his finest achievement at the ground has been, the first day of the fourth Test in the 2015 Ashes is the one that shines brightest.

Broad took 8-15 as Australia were bowled out for 60 – making it the shortest first innings in Test history – and England went on to regain the Ashes.

“Getting the Aussies out for 60 on my home ground was incredible,” Broad said.

“Jos Buttler came to me an hour and a half after we won the toss, we already bowled the Aussies out for 60 and he tapped me on my knee, sat down next to me and said, ‘I’ve always dreamt about winning the Ashes and we’ve managed to do it in an hour and a half’.

“To share that moment with the people of Nottingham who have supported me so much, in the city I was born was incredible and regaining the Ashes at Trent Bridge for the first time ever are memories that will live forever.”

Now instead of the pressures of playing in games like that, he will have to figure out how to watch from afar.

“I find it harder than being involved and playing,” he said.

“Maybe that’s the transition I need to make from player to former player, that I need to relax and enjoy the cricket rather than getting nervous watching.”

Stuart Broad after his Ashes win on home turf at Trent Bridge in 2015Stuart Broad helped England win the Ashes on home turf at Trent Bridge in 2015