Stuart Broad has defended his refusal to walk in the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge last month as an example of a "win-at-all-costs mentality" that he describes as "un-English" but a crucial part of making the XI "an unpleasant team to play against".
Broad conceded that he knew he had edged the Ashton Agar delivery which caused such controversy, partly because it was deflected to Michael Clarke at slip off the pads of the wicketkeeper Brad Haddin. But there was not a hint of contrition as he spoke about the incident at length for the first time in the aftermath of his match-winning performance in the fourth Test last week, even though he seems to have changed tack since. He walked without waiting for the umpire's finger when he nicked a Nathan Lyon off-break to Haddin in the third Test at Old Trafford.
"You don't want the Aussies loving you because it probably means you're rubbish," said the 27-year-old – whose father, Chris, is an International Cricket Council match referee and who has spoken of the importance of adhering to the mysterious "spirit of cricket" – of the warm reception that awaits him in the return series this winter in Australia, which seems likely to be roughly similar to the stick handed out to David Warner since he went Walkabout in Birmingham.
"It was an odd one," he said of his edge to Agar. "There was no particular noise. It's silly when people say it was nicked to slip because it was an edge to the keeper's gloves that flew to slip. I went down to the other end and Belly [Ian Bell, the non-striker] had not heard anything. Agar asked me if I had nicked it because he was not sure. It was not as clear-cut as everyone thought.
"You have a split-second. Sometimes you edge it, kick yourself in frustration and walk away. For players on the field to not know I had nicked it shows there was confusion. You always have a responsibility to the fans and youngsters growing up because you are role models," Broad conceded. "But you have to play hard and play fair. That is the spirit of the game and how it is defined. The whole walking debacle I thought was pretty poor journalism because it was just one player who was picked up. I have named seven or eight Australians and four Englishmen where that has not happened. That stuff I hear is just embarrassing.
"One thing about this England team is we are tough. We come through tricky times and we stand up and want to be counted. It is quite an un-English thing that this team has got. We want that to continue. There is no doubt the country is proud of this team and what we have achieved because fans like winning teams. We are proud of that. We do have a win-at-all-costs mentality. We want to win, we want to make the fans happy.
"We have been accused of all sorts. Those sorts of things are not remembered. It is winning the series that will be remembered. I certainly think we are an unpleasant team to play against at the minute. Teams will not come and play against us and enjoy the experience, which is what we want."
Broad revealed that England had a team meeting on Sunday to reinforce the importance of taking the chance to inflict a first 4-0 Ashes defeat on Australia. "We need to keep throwing punches and damaging these players," he said, also referring to the two Twenty20s with Australia next week, in which he will captain a team including Hampshire's opener Michael Carberry.
England T20 squad S Broad (Nottinghamshire, captain), R Bopara (Essex), D Briggs (Hampshire), J Buttler (Somerset), M Carberry (Hampshire), J Dernbach (Surrey), S Finn (Middlesex), A Hales (Nottinghamshire), M Lumb (Nottinghamshire), E Morgan (Middlesex), B Rankin (Warwickshire), J Root (Yorkshire), J Tredwell (Kent), L Wright (Sussex)
Thursday 29 August, Rose Bowl, Hampshire
Saturday 31 August, Riverside, Durham ICG
Stuart Broad is an Investec Test Cricket Ambassador. The specialist bank and asset manager is title sponsor of the Ashes. Investec.co.uk/cricket or @investeccricket
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