Stuart Broad. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images for ECB)
MANCHESTER (United Kingdom): Stuart Broad said changes to the global cricket calendar could mean he will be the last paceman to take 500 Test wickets.
Broad reached the landmark figure by trapping Kraigg Brathwaite plumb lbw as England completed a dominant 269-run win in the third Test against the West Indies at Old Trafford on Tuesday that saw the hosts to a 2-1 series victory.
The 34-year-old Broad is only the seventh bowler in history to have taken 500 Test wickets and the fourth quick.
When Fred Trueman became the first man to take 300 Test wickets back in 1964, the outstanding England fast bowler, asked if anyone might break his record, reportedly replied: “Aye, but whoever does will be bloody tired.”
Broad, whose one-day international career was effectively ended by England in 2016 to keep him going in the Test match arena, said scheduling would now be the issue for a fast bowler wanting to join him in the ‘500 club’.
“Someone is going to have to play a lot of cricket because there is a lot of competition out there, between different T20 leagues franchises, 100-ball.”
Broad, who also marked his 140th Test with a match haul of 10-67, added: “I feel very lucky to have played for England in an era where we’ve played a lot of Test cricket in the summer and a lot in the winter.
“I think there’s talk of thinning the amount of Tests we play in a summer down.”
Among active bowlers, only Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon, with 390 Test wickets, would appear to have much hope of becoming the eighth member of a select group.
“You need a lot of Test matches to get 500 wickets,” said Broad.
“I think there’ll be people who have the talent to get the numbers but whether they’ll be able to play the amount of Test cricket the seam bowlers have to get that feat remains to be seen,” he added.
Broad’s longtime new-ball colleague James Anderson, who is approaching 600 Test wickets, suggested before play Tuesday that the Nottinghamshire seamer could surpass his eventual tally.
“I’ve never even thought about that,” said Broad. “(But) why not try and follow in Jimmy’s footsteps? He’s been wonderful to play with.
“If I keep bowling the way I am for the next few years then I wouldn’t rule anything out.”
Broad ended the West Indies series as the leading bowler on either side, with 16 wickets at a miserly average of 10.93, despite being controversially left out of England’s defeat in the first Test at Southampton.
“I thought ‘where am I going here?'” admitted Broad. “I’m glad I stayed strong because I’m very happy two weeks later.”