Broad dismisses last 'void' Ashes series and backs revived England to attack Australia

Australia claimed a 4-0 series win in 2021/22 following what was known as the 'Covid Series'

Stuart Broad is expecting the new attacking England to make life difficult for Australia at this summer's Ashes. AP
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Bowler Stuart Broad has said Australia's Ashes victory in 2021/22 was a "void series" in his mind because of the Covid-19 restrictions as England aim to respond to the 4-0 thrashing on home turf this summer.

Australia powered to an emphatic win Down Under in the most recent series against England, but Broad feels the strict coronavirus regulations left the visitors dealing with an unfair disadvantage.

Fast bowler Broad and his teammates were kept in a lengthy quarantine and a Covid-protected bubble throughout the tour.

Now, with Australia set to visit England this year in the first Ashes since the 'Covid series', Broad has lit the fuse on a potentially explosive clash with his controversial jibe.

"Nothing was harsher than the last Ashes series. But in my mind I don't class that as a real Ashes," Broad told the Daily Mail on Thursday. "The definition of Ashes cricket is elite sport with lots of passion and players at the top of their game.

"Nothing about that series was high level performance because of the Covid restrictions. The training facilities, the travel, not being able to socialise. I've written it off as a void series."

England have been revitalised as a Test force by captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendan McCullum over the last year, winning 10 of 11 Test matches - a stark improvement from the one win in 17 prior to the new captain and coach partnership.

And Broad doesn't believe Australia are suited to emulate the ultra-aggressive template that England have used in their revival.

"It would be great for us if Australia try to take us on at our own game. If we can get them playing in a slightly different style they could make mistakes and that would be brilliant for us," Broad said.

"Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne and Usman Khawaja are all guys who like to bat time and accumulate. So if we can nibble away at them and just get them thinking, 'Why are we not scoring quicker? Why are we not moving the game forward?'

"I'd love Smith to dance down the track and sky one to mid-off early doors. That would be classic."

The five-Test Ashes series gets underway at Edgbaston on June 16, followed by the second Test at Lord's on June 28, the third Test at Headingley on July 6, and the fourth at Old Trafford on July 19. The series then concludes at The Oval on July 27.

Updated: April 27, 2023, 11:07 AM