Michael Vaughan-Stuart Broad verbal war escalates as ex-captain asks seamer to win Headingley Test before commenting

David Clough 18:38 02/06/2018
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Michael Vaughan worries Stuart Broad may rue his riposte over his former captain’s criticism before the Headingley Test.

Vaughan suggested in his newspaper column and on his BBC radio programme that England should consider dropping either Broad or his pace partner James Anderson for the must-win match against Pakistan.

Broad responded with three wickets, as did Anderson, to help England bowl the tourists out for 174 on day one.

He then revealed he had telephoned Vaughan this week for a clear-the-air chat, because he was angry at the remarks.

Vaughan, however, was on the front foot again while rain wiped out the first session of day two in Leeds – wondering on the BBC’s Test Match Special whether Broad’s press-conference response was wise, and hinting too that England’s strike bowler may believe he is above criticism.

“You have to be careful in sport that comments can come back to bite you,” said Vaughan.

“I got the sense last night it was ‘You can’t criticise me. I’m Stuart Broad and I’ve been in the team for a long time’.”

England, Vaughan points out, have yet to consolidate their fine start to the Test.

“You have got to be careful when you choose a time to come out and attack like Stuart did last night,” he added.

“England are still behind Pakistan. They haven’t won this Test match yet. The comments last night were geared as though they had won the game. He’s a senior member of the team, and I don’t think it was the right time to plan that attack.

“He should have played a nice, straight bat for a few of the questions (rather than) come out speaking like that after one good day – after having only four or five good days in their past eight or nine Tests.

“He probably went on one because the frustration has been building up.”

Vaughan is not about to make his and Broad’s phone conversation public.

“A private conversation is a private conversation, and it will remain between myself and Stuart,” he added. “(But) I just look at performances – and over the last year, they have lost eight in 15.

“It has been very comfortable for a long period of time … if the criticism over the last few days has geed them up to go out there and prove us wrong, great. It wasn’t just me who criticised them – many have, and they deserved it.”

Broad had said he found the criticism unjustified.

“You get used to both positive and negative opinions, but sometimes I don’t think it is justified,” Broad said.

“This time, it did anger me a little bit – because I thought it was a bit unfair, and a bit targeted really. So I called him and expressed my disappointment in his comments.”

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