Stuart Broad has revealed he was so disheartened after being dropped for England’s first Test match against West Indies last month that he considered retiring from cricket.
Broad, 34, joined the team for the second and third Tests and was one of England’s best performers as they fought back to claim the series 2-1.
“Were there thoughts of retirement going round my head? One hundred percent, because I was so down,” he told the Daily Mail.
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“I was expecting to play, which is always a bit of a dangerous thing in sport, but I felt I deserved to play.
“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 [due to coronavirus-enforced restrictions].
“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.”
Broad said his family helped him to get through the difficult period, as did Ben Stokes, who captained England for the first time during the first Test.
“Stokesy was brilliant,” Broad said. “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.”
On the final day of England’s series against West Indies, Broad became the seventh player in history to take 500 Test wickets. Later in the day, he claimed his 501st to seal victory for Joe Root’s team.
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