IPL

Broad happy to miss IPL

2010-04-15 20:14
Stuart Broad (File)

London - Stuart Broad capped a dream season by being named one of Wisden's cricketers of the year and said on Thursday he was happy to miss out on the Indian Premier League to ensure he remains in the best shape for England.

Having lost 4kg and picked up a "few aches and niggles" during England's tour of Bangladesh the Nottinghamshire paceman took a few weeks off to recover.

"I've been in the gym, trying to put a bit of the weight back on and just generally easing the aches and pains," he said at the announcement of FTI Consulting as the new sponsor of the MVP rankings.

"As a bowler you get little niggles. Playing for England is the highlight of my career and I felt I needed a couple of weeks' rest before the Twenty20 World Cup to make sure I'm fit and firing."

With Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen previously criticised after picking up injuries in the IPL, Broad, so slim now that he would barely cover all three stumps if he stood chest-on in front of them, said he fully supported captain Andrew Strauss's decision to sit out the Bangladesh tour.

"Obviously you want to play as many games as you can for England but Straussy felt he needed a break and that's great," he said.

"You need your captain really fresh. It's pretty difficult with the fixture list, you want to play every game but you'd break down."

A couple of hundred hardy souls braved a chilly spring wind at Lord's on Thursday to watch the county match between Middlesex and Glamorgan, a far cry from the mayhem of the IPL League where most of the world's leading players are honing their short-game talents before the Twenty20 World Cup in the West Indies which starts in two weeks.

Broad accepted that England's players could do with sharpening their skills but said he was confident they could still be competitive despite their lack of practice.

"The IPL is something I'd like to do in the future, it's a fantastic tournament, but I just felt that this year, after the tour to Bangladesh and with a hectic year ahead I just needed a little break," he said.

"We do need to develop as a Twenty20 team and players. We've got a couple of warm-up games before the tournament and it would probably have been better to have played a few more but we've had a bit of rest and I certainly feel better for that.

"We have a good chance, if we can get a good start and pick up some momentum, it's a short tournament so we could go well.

"The selection looks exciting, we've got batsmen who can hit fours and sixes right through the order and bowlers taking wickets so I'm looking forward to being out there."

Broad is second in the MVP rankings behind spinner Graeme Swann and both men, who did so much to help England to their Ashes victory over Australia last season, were among Wisden's Cricketers of the year announced on Wednesday.

England wicketkeeper Matt Prior, swing bowler Graham Onions and Australian batsmen Michael Clarke completed the quintet honoured on Wednesday.

"It was a fantastic evening, going up and getting the award with such illustrious people and past winners in the room," Broad told Reuters.

"It was a huge honour to get the leather book with my name on, you can only win it once and nobody can take that away.

"I was also very proud to have four England players in the five. That really shows how far we've come as a team."


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