x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Stuart Broad hungry for success in UAE series

The England bowler has followed an eating plan deployed by Manchester United in a bid to help him stay injury-free.

Stuart Broad has thought long and hard about the reasons behind his recent bad run with injury.
Stuart Broad has thought long and hard about the reasons behind his recent bad run with injury.

Stuart Broad believes he will be in the shape of his life if he is selected for England's warm-up match against an ICC Combined AM XI in Dubai starting on Saturday.

England's 6ft 6in seamer, who arrived with team in the capital on Tuesday a month after attending the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix, is determined to put a run of injuries behind him as he seeks to realise his potential as one of the mainstays of a world-beating pace attack.

And he hopes a self-sanctioned regime of spartan diet and rigorous training will stand him in good stead for the three three-day match at the ICC Global Cricket Academy followed by three Tests, four one-day internationals and three Twenty20s against Pakistan in the UAE.

"The ECB [England & Wales Cricket Board] sorted it out ... from a company I think Man United use when they get a new signing in," he said. "They send the menu over. I think it was about 2,000 calories a day. It was still hearty, good meals - I wasn't ever hungry. It gave me everything I needed. The ECB nutrionists gave me the menu and it got delivered every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

"I'm not going to lie, after six weeks it took its toll on me - jeez, I enjoyed that first chocolate bar," he said as he recalled the strict diet, prescribed by the England and Wales Cricket Board but diligently followed by him.

"I only drank water and tea. I don't know how these Olympic athletes do it - I still enjoy having a beer and stuff. But it was nice to try and challenge myself in a different way."

Broad believes bad luck, rather than true susceptibility to injury, has been behind his enforced absences from international cricket over the past 13 months. Broad missed the second half of England's glorious Ashes campaign last winter, much of the World Cup and then most recently their 5-0 one-day international drubbing in India in October. But he thinks the varied, almost freak, nature of the injuries are cause for optimism that he will not succumb easily again.

"I had five years of no injuries, and then three 'two-monthers' at a time," the bowler said. "But they've all been quite different and quite rare really. The specialist with my ab(ductor) tear in the Ashes said he'd (only) seen one in 20 years. I had to see three different specialists, because none of them had seen anything like it - apart from one in a water skier. If it was a consistent ankle spur or tendinitis in the knee I'd be a bit more concerned, but being three random injuries it doesn't bother me."

"One thing I have found, if my muscles go, they properly tear. They don't just get a little strain. So it's been about trying to harden those sort of things up - and also being a bit more sensible with my body maybe. I know during the Ashes I felt a little tear or a bit of a strain and I bowled another five overs and I turned that strain into a 4cm rip.

"Again (it was) the same at Lord's in September. I was struggling a bit in the morning, felt something wasn't quite right, and bowled 10 overs - and it completely tore off the bone. So probably being a bit more mature, I don't have to drive through the wall. I might have to be a bit more sensible if I feel something and ease off a bit."