‘It has been so successful for us’: Stuart Broad urges new ECB director of cricket Ashley Giles not to give footballing warm-ups the red card
- Stuart Broad insists England’s pre-game football matches are good for morale
- New ECB director of cricket Ashley Giles has considered banning them
- Wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow allegedly injured himself while playing a game
- Broad claimed the injury picked up in Sri Lanka had nothing to do with football
England’s Test cricketers intend to carry on playing football as part of their early morning warm-up routines despite the practice coming under review from new director of cricket Ashley Giles.
Fears of a repeat of the sidelining of Jonny Bairstow at the start of the Sri Lanka tour due to ankle ligament damage means Giles will address the subject with coach Trevor Bayliss and captain Joe Root.
However, Stuart Broad argued the case for the retention of the daily kick-about, having analysed the positives in it during his decade as an international.
Footballing warm-up sessions are popular among players but can increase the chance of injury
‘We’ve not been told anything on that front. The football and goalkeeping gloves were ordered from New Balance and came with us in the bag,’ he said, as the squad settled in Barbados.
‘Certainly, we are expecting to be warming up playing football because it’s been so successful for us as a team-building exercise, a fun thing, integrating players into the group, making people feel at home quickly.
‘If two new players come into the squad they’re immediately the football captains, you get a bit of banter going and they are made to feel a part of things.
‘We are very sensible about where we play. For example, in Sri Lanka we didn’t play a lot because it was so hot and we didn’t want to wear ourselves out pre-game. It’s great for fitness and if players keep to the no-tackling guidelines it’s fine.’
Ashley Gileshad considered banning England’s cricketers from playing football
Of the accident that led to Bairstow relinquishing the wicketkeeping gloves to Ben Foakes earlier this winter, he added: ‘Rumours that Jonny Bairstow injured his ankle playing football are a load of rubbish. It was in the football warm-up but he tripped over himself 30 yards away from the ball.
‘He could have done that anywhere in the world and we play a sport that causes people to get injured.
‘Fast bowling is brutal on the body. Getting a ball hitting you at 90 mile an hour can be brutal on the body.’
Jonny Bairstow damaged ankle ligaments playing football in Sri Lanka earlier this winter