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Stuart Broad plays down England Test captaincy links

"Naturally, I am aware that my name has been touted as a potential successor to Joe [Root] as England captain....However, it is not something I have given any thought," Broad wrote in his Mail On Sunday column

File photo dated 17-12-2021 of England bowler Stuart Broad, who has suggested the 'Mankad' has always been a legitimate dismissal after being ruled as such by cricket's law-makers. Issue date: Wednesday March 9, 2022.
Image: Stuart Broad insists his sole focus is on getting back into the England Test team rather than captaincy

Stuart Broad has distanced himself from potentially taking over from Joe Root as England Test captain and instead appeared to back Ben Stokes for the job.

The fast bowler was, along with James Anderson, controversially left out of the squad for the recent tour to the West Indies which ended in a 1-0 series defeat and proved to be the last of Root's five years as skipper.

Broad, who has captained England in both T20 and one-day international cricket, is one of the names mooted as a potential successor to Root following his resignation on Friday. However, writing in his Mail On Sunday column, the 35-year-old insisted his sole focus was getting back into the England team and instead mentioned Stokes.

"Naturally, I am aware that my name has been touted as a potential successor to Joe as England captain and I guess that is because I am an experienced centrally contracted player who has been around the international game a long time," Broad wrote.

"However, it is not something I have given any thought to because firstly I am not currently in possession of a shirt within the England Test team and my focus is very much on changing that by taking wickets for Nottinghamshire over the next few weeks.

"In fact, I would argue we are in a fairly unique position as far as selection for the Test team goes right now in that there are only two players whose names you could write in pen on the scorecard.

"One of them is Joe Root, the other is Ben Stokes - and one of them isn't going to be captain for the first Test of the summer against New Zealand at Lord's on June 2 because he has just given the job away."

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Australia v England - 2021/22 Ashes Series - Fourth Test - Day One - Sydney Cricket Ground
England's Joe Root ( Left ) and Stuart Broad walk off as rain stops play during day one of the fourth Ashes test at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney. Picture date: Wednesday January 5, 2022.
Image: Stuart Broad had been a key member of Joe Root's team until being left out of the tour to the West Indies

Broad, who is yet to feature for Nottinghamshire in this year's County Championship, has played 152 Test matches for England since making his debut in 2007, taking 537 wickets at an average of 27.80.

His former England team-mate Nick Compton was among those to back him to succeed Root, at least on a short-term basis if all-rounder Stokes does not want to take on the captaincy after only making his international return in last winter's Ashes series.

"Any talk of players who haven't earned their stripes in the team, I don't think is helpful," Compton told Sky Sports. "The guy that I put forward is Stuart Broad, I think he's the right man in this difficult phase.

"He has the experience and that winning mentality. He's perhaps in the twilight of his career; he's seen a lot and he's been through a lot and in the last year or so. We've seen a guy who has upped his own game, along with Jimmy Anderson.

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Former England cricketer, Nick Compton, has backed Stuart Broad to take over as captain following Joe Root's resignation

"He's the type of guy who could come together with the new coach and put down a marker for how this England team needs to move forwards. He potentially won't be there for a long period of time, but I think he's the right man.

"The one thing you can say about Stuart Broad, is when you need him, he stepped up. There's no doubt about that."

Former England captain Nasser Hussain backed Broad to lead England, who host New Zealand, India and South Africa in Test matches this summer, on a short-term basis as well.

However, he believes the 30-year-old Stokes should be the man viewed as Root's long-term successor.

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Nasser Hussain has hailed Ben Stokes as the best option for the new role as captain, following Joe Root's resignation

"If Stokes is not in the right place, then short-term Stuart Broad has an excellent cricket brain, is a real fighter, a real competitor, and he's got a point to prove after what's happened in the last few months and we know what Broad is like when he's got a point to prove," Hussain told Sky Sports.

"Pat Cummins has led Australia as a bowler brilliantly, so in the short term, I can see Broad doing a similar thing.

"There are not that many candidates, the other option is to go outside the side and go down the Graeme Smith route that South Africa did, go outside the side and look in county cricket, but for me Stokes and Broad stand out."

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