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Ashes: Mitchell Starc hits back at Stuart Broad's claim that 2021/22 series defeat was 'void'

Stuart Broad recently claimed England's 4-0 defeat to Australia was 'void' and 'not a real Ashes' as a result of the restrictions imposed during the coronavirus pandemic; Watch every match from the men's and women's Ashes live on Sky Sports.

Australia's Mitchell Starc
Image: Mitchell Starc is set to play a key role with the ball for Australia in both the World Test Championship final and the Ashes

Mitchell Starc has not taken kindly to Stuart Broad's suggestion that Australia's 4-0 Ashes victory over England in 2021/22 was 'void' due to the impact of Covid restrictions at the time.

The talking has started. It finally feels like summer.

In a recent interview with the Daily Mail the England bowler suggested "nothing about that series was high-level performance" as a result of travel and social limitations imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, leading him to deem it as "void" and "not a real Ashes".

"The funniest thing out of that was they called it quarantine on the Gold Coast," Starc told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"I did seven of them. That was the easiest by a country mile. They had the pool, the gym, they were in a resort on the Gold Coast, they weren't confined to their rooms and had their families there.

"Was that really quarantine? They were still allowed to play golf on tour. Is that an excuse for 4-0? Dunno. It was a pretty good series to be a part of."

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England, while currently nursing some fitness concerns, arrive a different proposition to the side dominated down under having enjoyed something of a resurgence in the red-ball game since the arrival of Brendon McCullum and under the captaincy of Ben Stokes.

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They will be minus Jofra Archer after he was ruled out for the entire summer with a stress fracture of the elbow, however did receive some positive news on Tuesday as a scan gave Ollie Robinson the all-clear following worry over his ankle.

Australia are meanwhile expecting key contributions from David Warner at the top of the order after there had been question marks over his involvement in the wake of a tough tour of India.

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"We're optimistic with what Dave's got left, we've picked him in the squad and we feel he'll play a really big part in the Ashes and the World Test Championship," head coach Andrew McDonald told Australian radio station SEN.

"He's an important part of that squad, and if he wasn't, we would've had a clear checkpoint after the WTC going into the Ashes.

"That's not the case, we've picked our squad for the first two Ashes Tests as well, so he's clearly in our plans and ready to go."

Warner managed just 26 runs across three innings during the tour of India before withdrawing through injury, and had struggled in the last Ashes tour of England where he averaged 9.50 having fallen to the bowling of Broad on seven occasions.

Watch every match from the men's and women's Ashes live on Sky Sports. You can also follow videos and over-by-over text commentary across Sky Sports' digital platforms. Live coverage of the first Test is live from June 16-20 on Sky Sports Cricket.

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