Joe Root Wants Changes In System; Stuart Broad Says “County Cricket Is Harshly Treated”

Stuart Broad and Joe Root | Getty
Stuart Broad and Joe Root | Getty

Joe Root pointed out that the players coming into the reckoning at the international level are managing so not because of county cricket but despite it.

England’s abject show in the recently concluded Ashes 2021-22 has led to calls for significant changes in county cricket with skipper Joe Root being critical of its current state. England drew one and lost four Tests as they suffered a 0-4 defeat to Australia.

England, PTI
England. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Joe Root Who Was Named Test Cricketer Of The Year Wants Changes In System

Despite a difficult year for his side, Joe Root hit 1,708 runs in 2021 – the third-most in a calendar year in Tests. He scored two double centuries and a further four hundred, including three in successive Tests against India. England won just four of 15 Tests in 2021, including losing the Ashes in Australia and series against India and New Zealand, but Joe Root stood a class above the rest of his side’s batting line-up.

Joe Root scored more than three times as many runs as any of his teammates – Rory Burns was the next highest scorer with 530 runs – and averaged 61 from 29 innings. Hence, England captain Joe Root was named men’s Test cricketer of the year by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Joe Root
Joe Root Photograph: Sri Lanka Cricket

“Anyone that’s coming into this Test team at the minute is doing it in spite of county cricket, not because of county cricket,” Root had said after the Ashes defeat.

Joe Root wants changes to the current system which he feels will make a significant impact.

“I think there are definitely things that need to change, some things that need to change over a long period of time – it won’t happen overnight – but there are a lot of things that can change quite quickly that would hopefully make a significant impact for youngsters and guys in and around this team to ready themselves better,” he said.

There have been plenty of ideas about how to improve first-class cricket in England, with Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Agnew calling for the County Championship to be scrapped. However, Stuart Broad has defended the current structure, stating county cricket gets “harshly treated” and urging people “not to disrespect it”.

Stuart Broad: Sometimes County Gets Harshly Treated And Is Against Using Kookaburra Ball

However, in his column, veteran pace bowler Stuart Broad said while English cricket can take a few lessons from Australia, it’s unfair to put the entire blame on the county.

“The analysis of defeat shows the difference between the scrutiny placed on red ball and white ball cricket in our country. Yes, you can try to tweak things as Australia have done in the past by introducing the Dukes ball to the Sheffield Shield. But sometimes the county game gets harshly treated,” Stuart Broad wrote.

England's Stuart Broad. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)
England’s Stuart Broad. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)

Dipping into his own experience, Stuart Broad, who has 854 first-class wickets to his name, wrote that it’s important to not disrespect the domestic competition but did suggest some changes.

“I’ve played a lot of county cricket since the start of 2019 and I believe it’s important not to disrespect it. Yes, you could play more in June and July, and take the seam on the ball down slightly,” the 35-year-old wrote.

However, he’s against the introduction of the Kookaburra ball.

“For what it’s worth, I don’t think introducing the Kookaburra ball would be a good thing because in my opinion it is not of good enough quality to cope with English moisture. It would swell,” he pointed out.

But the pacer accepted that some of the pitches could be better.

“I accept that some pitches could be better – I am lucky as I get to play on very good surfaces at Trent Bridge – but it’s hard to blame all our batting failures this winter on county cricket because we also failed at home against New Zealand and India last summer,” he observed.

England bowler Stuart Broad has defended county cricket after Joe Root claimed the current system does not adequately prepare players for Test cricket. England lost 4 out of 5 games as 1 match ended in a draw. Australia won the 1st Test by 9 wickets, 2nd Test by 275 runs, 3rd Test by an innings and 14 runs, and 5th Test by 146 runs.

Stuart Broad was also part of the Ashes 2021-22 series. The right-arm pacer played 3 Tests and picked 13 wickets at an average of 26.31. Joe Root scored 322 runs playing all 5 Tests at an average of 32.20, finishing as the team’s highest run-getter.

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