Sports retort: Broad slaps down Vaughan in the battle of crick-bait

Tony Bishop

The fire that drives Stuart Broad to continued excellence with the ball can sometimes manifest itself as a certain prickliness when it is not in his hand.

Fair enough, say we at Guerilla Cricket: be brave enough to say things like they are. Stuart certainly did when "rested" for the first Test of last summer. No mincing of words in "frustrated, angry and gutted".

But words mean more when backed up with actions and Broady duly delivered. Six wickets in the first test at Old Trafford, and then 10 wickets including figures of six for 31 in the third Test. Not to mention a highly entertaining 62 with the bat. Form he carried into the first test in Sri Lanka, bagging three wickets at just 11.33 apiece.

I think it's fair to say Broady doesn't suffer fools gladly. And as much as we love Twitter – we couldn't do the programme without it – it really does encourage fools to consider themselves wise and wise men all too often to be fools.

Which brings us to Messrs Vaughan and Warne

Both, despite their distinguished careers are all too ready to be "rent a quote" and post for the sake of provoking reaction rather than worrying about the consequences of what they are saying. Some readers are entertained, some angered, some saddened and some quite frankly really couldn't care anymore.

History has proved that England timed their declaration just right. Hindsight is always twenty- twenty of course, but the Warne-Vaughan trolling duet didn't want to wait to have a social poke in England's direction.

In the meantime, England cricket dropped a post on Instagram, digging at those who moaned about their declaration. The righteous indignation of those whose actions have been validated. And just in case there was anyone who didn't know who that message was aimed at, Broady made sure we were in no doubt with his "Think that's aimed at you @michaelvaughan?!"

Let's not forget, Broad and Vaughan have had previous disagreements. Notably in 2017 when Vaughan called for Broad to be dropped for the second Pakistan Test. Vaughan wrote that Broad, a veteran of 117 Tests, should be dropped to "ruffle" the England dressing room, which he felt had become too cosy in recent months. But Broad firmly defended his own recent form, retorting that Vaughan had "little insight" into what happens in the dressing room, and suggested that he was being deliberately controversial in an attempt to stir attention.

Our Michael, being deliberately controversial, surely not?

"It's a complete shot in the dark, because he doesn't know what the changing room's like," Broad said. "I don't think he's got much insight into the changing room at all. The players don't talk to him about cricket, or what's going on in the changing room. But it's personal columns, it's radio shows that need likes and airtime.

"I like punditry. I like hearing different people's opinions, I respect people's opinions when it's fair. I didn't feel last week it was particularly fair. Only two Tests ago, I got eight wickets in Christchurch. I've been beating the bat, I've been getting wickets for Nottinghamshire. But that's the world we live in. You get used to both positive and negative opinions, but this time it did anger me a little bit, because I thought it was a bit unfair and a bit targeted.

At the time Broady was quick to phone Vaughan saying: "I called him. I'm friends with Vaughany, he was a fantastic captain to me, I like sharing a glass of wine with him. I called him and expressed my disappointment."

Seems though as though the hatchet was only temporarily sheathed, rather than buried and here we are again in 2021.

I wonder how Stuart would feel now if the media was Vaughan-free?

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