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Broad says county cricket is “harshly treated” after Root’s scathing criticism

County cricket has been criticised by England captain Joe Root following his side’s Ashes defeat, but Stuart Broad has defended the current system

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Fire still burning bright for Stuart Broad after Sydney five-wicket haul

England bowler Stuart Broad has defended county cricket after Joe Root claimed the current system does not adequately prepare players for Test cricket.

Speaking after England were thrashed 4-0 in the Ashes by Australia, Root said: “Anyone that’s coming into this Test team at the minute is doing it in spite of county cricket, not because of county cricket.

“I think there are definitely things that need to change, some things that need to change over a long period of time – it won’t happen overnight – but there are a lot of things that can change quite quickly that would hopefully make a significant impact for youngsters and guys in and around this team to ready themselves better.”

Stuart Broad has defended county cricket
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Philip Brown/Popperfoto/Popperfoto via Getty Images)

There have been plenty of ideas about how to improve first-class cricket in England, with Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Agnew calling for the County Championship to be scrapped.

However, Broad has defended the current structure, stating county cricket gets “harshly treated” and urging people “not to disrespect it”.

In his column for the Mail on Sunday, Broad wrote: “The analysis of defeat shows the difference between the scrutiny placed on red ball and white ball cricket in our country.

“Yes, you can try to tweak things as Australia have done in the past by introducing the Dukes ball to the Sheffield Shield. But sometimes the county game gets harshly treated.

“I’ve played a lot of county cricket since the start of 2019 and I believe it’s important not to disrespect it.

“Yes, you could play more in June and July, and take the seam on the ball down slightly.

County cricket has been criticised by Joe Root in the wake of England’s Ashes defeat
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Image:

Philip Brown/Popperfoto/Popperfoto via Getty Images)

“For what it’s worth, I don’t think introducing the Kookaburra ball would be a good thing because in my opinion it is not of good enough quality to cope with English moisture. It would swell.

“I accept that some pitches could be better – I am lucky as I get to play on very good surfaces at Trent Bridge – but it’s hard to blame all our batting failures this winter on county cricket because we also failed at home against New Zealand and India last summer.”

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