Stuart Broad says England must attract supporters through their playing style

Pace bowler Stuart Broad says England must play a style of cricket that will attract supporters to watch Tests.

None of the five days of the first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s, beginning on Thursday, have sold out.

It will be England’s first Test under the leadership of new coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes, coming after a run of one win in 17 matches.

“We have to make that commitment we are going to be exciting and want to draw people through the gates,” said Broad.

“It’s not just results, it’s the style of cricket you play. From the outside, when you see a Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes mindset come together, that’s pretty exciting.

“To attract fans to watch the team play, we’ve got to have a style of cricket that people want to watch.”

The cheapest adult ticket for the first day, albeit with a restricted view, is £45. The most expensive is £160. Under 16 tickets range from £20 to £40.

On the fifth day, always the cheapest because of the reduced chance of a full day’s play, tickets cost £10 for children and £20 for adults.

"The premium price tickets represent good value to watch top-class international cricket at one of the world's most iconic sporting venues.With the Queen's Platinum Jubilee double bank holiday weekend also taking place, we have seen a reduction in our usual expected attendance numbers."

Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), owner of Lord's, speaking about ticket sales

The MCC added that sales were “strong” for the opening two days and also across the rest of their international fixtures this summer, with the one-day international against India sold out.

Broad, 35, has returned to the England squad after being left out of the tour to the West Indies in March.

Whereas his long-time new-ball partner James Anderson said he considered retiring after that omission, Broad insisted he did not think about ending his international career.

“I’m delighted to be in this squad. I was disappointed to miss out on a Test tour, but that’s life,” said Broad, who has taken 537 wickets in 152 Tests.

“I’m very forward focussed, very excited to be here. I’m going in with the mindset to attack each week as hard as I can, leave my heart and soul on the field, and taking myself back to [being] as if I’d played zero Test cricket.”

Broad and Anderson are alongside fellow pace bowlers Craig Overton and Matty Potts in the squad.

All four could play if England decide to omit left-arm spinner Jack Leach. If Leach is selected, it could be that Overton gets the nod because of his superior batting, leaving two places for Broad, Anderson and the uncapped Potts.

Original article published 31.05.2022 on BBC Sport website.

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