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London, Aug 3 Recently-retired England fast bowler Stuart Broad has admitted that the feeling of him not bowling or batting anymore “still hasn’t sunk in”, adding that finishing on top at the end of an Ashes series was all he wanted.
Broad announced that he would retire from the game after day three of the fifth and final Ashes Test at The Oval. He got a fairytale finish to his career by claiming the last two wickets of the match on Day Five as England won by 49 runs to level the series 2-2 with Australia, with Broad taking 22 wickets across five games.
“I felt really relaxed that last day and just for (Chris) Woakes and Moeen [Ali] to set the tone as they did and get some early wickets was awesome. I played so much cricket with both of those guys and it was so special. Ultimately, I just feel really proud of being able to play for England for as long as I have and experience as much as I have. It probably hasn’t sunk in that I won’t bowl another ball or hit another ball.”
“I think that will probably come in a bit of time. But I knew deep down that I wanted to try and finish at the top and Ashes cricket feels like the top for me. It was a pretty cool way to finish,” Broad was quoted as saying by Sky Sports during The Hundred competition.
Broad first dismissed Todd Murphy before having Alex Carey nick behind to Jonny Bairstow to clinch the 604th and last Test wicket of his career. He revealed captain Ben Stokes told him before taking out Murphy that it would be his last over with the ball.
“Weirdly, Stokesy told me before that over, before I got Todd Murphy out, he said ‘this will be your last over because I’m going to get Woody on with the extra pace’. So, I was running knowing that would be my last ball in professional cricket. My legs went a bit jelly-like when I was running in.”
“I was saying to myself ‘Just hit the pitch as hard as you can, try and get the ball to move away. But whack the pitch, don’t bowl a floaty half volley for your last ball in international cricket and he nicked it.”
“That’s why I reacted like ‘Oh my, he’s nicked it, he’s nicked it’. It just felt really special to finish on a win and be in the changing room with all the guys that I have played so much cricket with,” he concluded.