'I'm addicted to Test cricket' - Stuart Broad reaches 600 wickets in Ashes Test at Old Trafford
The English pair are great friends, long-time opening bowling partners and now the only non-spinners to have got to the landmark, which has only been attained by three other people in history.
Broad’s moment came just after tea on day one of the fourth Ashes Test at Emirates Old Trafford, when Travis Head injudiciously hooked a bumper and Joe Root gobbled up a low catch in the deep.
“Never in my dreams did I think that would be a thing,” said Broad. “It’s got a nice ring to it, getting my 600th wicket from the James Anderson End. There’s something pretty special about that.”
After Australia closed on 299-8, Broad reflected on his insatiable ambition flourishing in the Ben Stokes-Brendon McCullum axis, under whom he has taken 87 wickets in 14 Tests, having previously feared for his international future after being overlooked for the Caribbean tour in March 2022.
“I have definitely got an addiction to Test cricket and the competitive side of it,” said Broad. “Ultimately Baz and Stokesy have given me a new lease of life in a way.
“It is such a free changing room. There is no fear of failure or judgement, it’s about moving the game forward and that suits me. I owe a lot in the last 14 months to the way Baz and Stokes have brought energy to the group.
“I have been able to match that and move myself forward as a player. I have found it really enjoyable, I would argue it’s been the most enjoyable year of my Test career which is an awesome thing to say at 37 years old.”
The dismissal of Head was also significant for Broad as he moved to 149 Test wickets against Australia, a record for an England bowler, eclipsing the previous benchmark held by Sir Ian Botham.
Broad, a four-time Ashes winner, revealed his outlook was shaped by watching Australia’s dominance of England in the 1990s and early 2000s, ultimately snapped during a seminal series in 2005.
“I grew up completely obsessed watching Ashes cricket and I suppose that’s why some of my heroes are Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, some of the great Aussie team,” said Broad.
“As a kid you are influenced by winning sides. It also built up my steeliness to want to be part of England teams that could win the Ashes after going through a whole childhood without us lifting them. I probably grew up with a bit more of an Australian mindset rather than a sort of England mindset of the 90s.”
Broad has been an ever-present in these Ashes, having been expected to take more of a backseat due to the congested schedule, but he has risen to the challenge as the leading wicket-taker in the series.
Chris Woakes continues to excel on his Test return, following up a star all-round showing on his comeback at Headingley with figures of 4-52 that on another day would have taken top billing.
“An England Test side with Chris Woakes in England is a pretty formidable side,” added Broad. “He was exceptional and deserves five in the morning, hopefully.”