Satire Saturday | Stuart Broad is the greatest bowler of all time

Satire Saturday | Stuart Broad is the greatest bowler of all time

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Stuart Broad is the greatest bowler of all time

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SportsCafe

Stuart Broad is the greatest bowler of all time. And anyone who denies this fact is lying to themselves and the whole world.

In fact, I, for one, think that people who deny the fact that Broad is the greatest bowler of all time are the same people who believe that burning down 5G Towers will curb the spread of coronavirus. Y’all clearly don’t have an understanding of how the world works, so, of course, it’s naive to expect you people to understand cricket. If you had an ounce of understanding of the sport, you would realize and attest to the fact that Stuart Broad is the greatest bowler of all time. 

Stuart Broad is the greatest bowler of all time because he is the only active cricketer in the world whose name is Stuart Christopher John Broad. What’s so special about that? His full name comprises 26 characters, which clearly indicates that he manipulated his parents into giving him a 26-letter name just so that he would have a target to hit when he eventually grows up. 26 is the bowling average he has always dreamed of attaining and welp, he’s almost there; has there been any other bowler in the history of the sport who has gone to such heights to ensure they would stay driven throughout their career? I doubt so.

The number 26, in fact, has more significance. In 9 of Broad’s 13 years in his Test career, he has averaged over 26 with the ball, clearly proving that consistency is his forte. How many ‘great’ bowlers could say this about themselves, eh? Stuart Broad is also the greatest bowler of all time because he is the only active cricketer who has played over 100 Tests whose father is a match referee.  

Stuart Broad is the greatest bowler of all time because you’ll have to scroll all the way towards the bottom of Page 1 of Cricinfo’s Statsguru, navigate to the second page and then come to the middle of page 2 to find his name in the list of bowlers with the best bowling average in the history of Test cricket. Any other great bowler would have placed themselves on the top of the first page, but not Broad. Broad deliberately slotted himself on page 2 in order to make the fans work hard to find his name. Why? Because “What comes easy won't last. What lasts won't come easy”. Broad’s name sure didn’t come easy and that’s a symbolic representation of how long he’s lasted in Test cricket.  

Stuart Broad is so great that despite averaging more than Saeed Ajmal, Heath Streak, Kemar Roach, Iqbal Qasim, Morne Morkel and Mitchell Starc, he has gone on to play 139 Test matches. In fact, that he has already played 15 more Test matches than the so-called-great Glenn McGrath clearly proves that he has been more valuable to England than McGrath ever was to Australia. 

And not just McGrath, by the way. Steyn, Muralitharan, Alan Donald, Wasim Akram, Courtney Walsh, Michael Holding - you name it; none of these bowlers played as many Tests as Broad for the simple fact that they were never as great as the Englishman. Of course, you could point out the fact that Broad debuted at a young age, but this only further proves the fact that he was and is more talented than any of these bowlers ever were, for that’s the reason why his captain and coach identified and integrated him into the side at a very young age. Is it his fault that none of these guys were neither talented nor fit enough to have played as many Tests as he has? Absolutely not. 

And let’s not even get to our ‘great’ spin bowlers, by the way. Broad puts more effort into one delivery than Warne and Muralitharan combinedly did in the 36,175 deliveries they bowled together in Test cricket, which further proves the fact that he is more committed than they ever were. Broad, unlike Murali, also never boasted a suspect action ever in his career, and, unlike Warne, never missed a World Cup because he got busted for using an illegal prescription drug.   

Discipline and commitment are the hallmarks of greatness and it is clear that Broad eats both Murali and Warne alive when it comes to both aspects. So, who’s the GOAT now? 

Stuart Broad is the greatest bowler of all time, for the simple fact that he kept his place in the English team intact and was backed to the moon despite averaging 36.25 after his first 37 Tests. This number - 36.25 - is so high that Graham Onions, Ryan Sidebottom, Chris Jordan, Toby Roland-Jones, Chris Tremlett, Tim Bresnan, Steven Finn all tried their best to get there, but failed miserably short of it. In fact, such was Broad’s greatness that all these aforementioned bowlers were unceremoniously kicked out of the side without being given a longer rope because their bowling average always fell below 36.25 - the benchmark set by Broad. 

And as if this 36.25 number wasn’t tough enough to match already, his bowling average away from home of 43.02 after 52 Tests became a barrier that was impossible to breach. To be brutally honest, very few great bowlers, after having played over 100 Tests, have boasted an away average of 32.66 that Broad currently has and that, in itself, sets him apart from the greatest to have ever played this sport. 

Of the current lot, Sam Curran and Chris Woakes - who are averaging 43.05 and 51.68 respectively, away from home - have shown promising signs that they could, someday, dethrone Broad, but boy do they have a very long way to go; they are rookies compared to Broad and the selectors’ (lack of) faith in them has already kind of shown that they would never even be given the opportunity to consistently scale the heights their senior did. 

I mean, you’d imagine that if Curran or Woakes averaged 46.13 across seven Tests (14 wickets in 15 innings) and had a strike rate of 92.7 like Broad did between 2010 and 2011, or if they averaged 40.00 across 9 Tests with a strike rate of 83.2 (17 wickets in 23 innings) like Broad did in 2017, they’d definitely get dropped for a very long time - and rightly so. And that is exactly why Broad is the greatest of all time: he was so good that he was unstoppable and undroppable even during the leanest of patches. 

Stuart Broad is the greatest bowler of all time because he is not a bully. Nope, he’s not what Kevin Pietersen (and Steve Harmison, indirectly) suggested he is. “The ‘bullying’ word hasn’t crossed my mind in eight or nine years of playing international cricket,” said Broad, which clearly proves the fact that he never bullied any of the younger players or bowlers in the team in his career. I mean, think about it - there’s no way you could go on to play 139 Tests for your country if you were bullying and intimidating players within and outside the team, is there? 

But it’s not just his name or his consistency or the benchmark he’s set that sets him apart, you know? Stuart Broad is the greatest bowler of all time also because of his selflessness. So selfless is Broad that in the only Ashes series England managed to win in Australia in this century in the 2010/11, he averaged 80.50 with the ball just so that he could give the likes of Chris Tremlett and Steven Finn a taste of success; their fifteen minutes of fame. 

And so great is Broad that, to prove that him averaging 80.50 in 2010/11 Ashes was deliberate, he went ahead, played 10 more Tests in Australia and reduced his average in the country to an astonishing 37.17 to prove that he is the greatest bowler to have ever graced the shores Down Under. Not only that, he is also the greatest b̶o̶w̶l̶e̶r̶  sportsperson of all time because he is the only cricketer in the world to out-cheat the Aussies, and that too in the Ashes. 

Broad’s selflessness does not end there, by the way. To elevate both Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar, Broad took it upon himself to not pick any wickets in the sub-continent, just so that he could allow the spinners to get a few scalps next to their name. His average of 60.61 and his strike rate of 114.0 in 9 Tests in India and Sri Lanka might look terrible on paper, but only he knows about the sacrifice he made for the greater good. In fact, so adamant was Broad to NOT pick wickets in Sri Lanka that, after complaining about being left out of the team for the first two Tests in the 2018 tour, he deliberately went wicketless in the third Test to allow Jack Leach, Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali to steal the spotlight. We talk so much about Ben Stokes being a team man, but what about Broad?

In fact, his selflessness was evident as recent as the first Test between England and West Indies at the Ageas Bowl. In order to draw attention away from the hideous performances of both Archer and Wood in the first innings, Broad gave an absolutely uncalled-for interview in the middle of the Test to ensure that it was him that the fans and the media were talking about, thereby driving people away from noticing the mediocrity of Archer and Wood. This masterstroke from Broad helped Archer, in particular, as the youngster struck back with venom in the second innings. 

And he is clever, too. Despite being a good four years younger than Anderson, Broad has somehow managed to convince people and put himself in the same bracket as James Anderson, who is 38, meaning people often associate his drop in pace and dip in form with age, like they do with Anderson. But of course the media won’t tell you all this because hey, all they care about is hiding the truth and here, the truth is that Stuart Broad is the greatest and smartest cricketer, bowler and human of all time. 

Come to think of it, it’s pretty sad that it has come to the point where it’s taken me to write a 1800-word article to convey a truth that’s been hidden in plain sight - that Stuart Broad is the greatest bowler of all time.  In a couple of more Tests, one presumes, Broad would reach the coveted 500-wicket mark after which he would, undoubtedly, be considered ‘great’, but that would count for little unless and until he’s acknowledged as the undisputed GOAT.  They say having a great career doesn’t really mean that you’re a great player but none of that matters, for Stuart Broad is the greatest bowler of all time. 

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