Stuart Broad considered England retirement after being dropped for first Test against West Indies

Stuart Broad has revealed he was “so down” after being dropped for the first Test match against West Indies that he considered retiring.

England’s decision to go with James Anderson, Jofra Archer and Mark Wood for the first match, which West Indies won by four wickets, snapped 34-year-old Broad’s run of 51 consecutive home tests.

He returned to claim 16 wickets in the next two Tests as England won back-to-back matches to clinch a 2-1 series win, with Broad picked as the player of the series.

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“Were there thoughts of retirement going round my head? One hundred per cent. Because I was so down,” he told The Mail on Sunday.

“I can’t think of many times I have been down like that. When I have been dropped before, I can go ‘fair enough, good decision, can’t really argue with that’.

“This time, when Stokesy told me I wasn’t playing, I felt my body go into shakes. I could barely speak,

“I was expecting to play, which is always a bit of a dangerous thing in sport but I felt I deserved to play.”

Broad explained that the coronavirus restrictions placed on all the players during the Test series did not help as he tried to come to terms with being dropped for the first Test in Southampton.

He said his family had played a crucial role in helping him through the period, as had England stand-in skipper for the first Test, Ben Stokes.

“I have not really told anyone this but I was so down that week of the first Test,” he said. “I was really low. I was stuck in that hotel. I couldn’t go anywhere.

“I wasn’t playing, I was staying in a single room. I didn’t sleep for two days. I was nowhere. A different decision could definitely have been made with my emotions of how I was feeling.

“Stokesy was brilliant. Stokesy knocked on my door on the Thursday night and stayed in the corridor to talk to me. He said: ‘This isn’t about cricket, but how are you, mate?’ That was very impressive for him to do.

“In this modern world, sometimes face-to-face comfort can get lost. I have always had a huge amount of respect for Stokes and I will be friends with him for life, but what he did almost added to that.”

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Broad, who became the seventh player in history to take 500 Test wickets in the third Test, insists he is a better player now than he was 10 years ago and says he now has 600 wickets in his sights.

“I might have been more exciting when I was 24 or have been more unpredictable so a bit more interesting to watch, but there is no doubt that a captain would rather have me bowling for him now than when I was 24,” he said.

“I have seen a lot of numbers over the past week since I took my 500th wicket. The last 18 months, I have been averaging 20.5 per wicket in Test cricket.

“Take age out of that. If anyone were doing that at any age, you would want to keep them around the team for a bit and not look past it.

“Could I get 600? Absolutely I think I could. Jimmy was 35 and one month when he got 500. I was 34 and one month.

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