England bowler Stuart Broad has revealed that he has apologised for missing a sponsor event last week, following media reports he had been out drinking the night before.
Broad was due to appear at a function in London last Thursday to preview the forthcoming two-Test series with New Zealand, but failed to turn up.
The Daily Mail claimed it was because he had been out with former England wicketkeeper Matt Prior until 7am, but the 28-year-old said he had actually been suffering from a migraine.
“I don’t want to go into massive detail about it, but I think it was probably not as bad as it was portrayed. And I woke up with a migraine,” Broad said in comments published by several British newspapers on Monday.
“I wasn’t on England duty for the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) but I did apologise for putting them in that position because after the week they’ve had with (Andrew) Strauss and (Kevin) Pietersen, it was probably not what they needed.”
Broad’s no-show followed the announcement by new ECB director of cricket Strauss that Pietersen was not part of his plans despite the batsman’s return to county cricket due to a “massive trust issue”.
Strauss has had to weather criticism in the aftermath and Broad says that the only way England can change the headlines is by producing positive performances on the pitch.
“I feel like now is the time as a team that we need to go ‘cricket, cricket, cricket’ because when we do that, that is generally when we get some good results,” he said.
“We’ve got to win games. Sport is that sort of world. If you’re losing, you deserve to get that sort of crap. If you’re winning, you generally get less crap and people enjoy watching you more.
“It’s vital to win this series against New Zealand. It’s a good opportunity going into the first Test for us to concentrate on the actual cricket, how we are going to up our game, get results and how we are going to up our love for cricket as a country.”
Pietersen accused Broad of being part of a bullying culture in his autobiography, but while Broad backed Strauss’s stance, he said reports of friction between him and Pietersen had been overplayed.
“I’ve genuinely not spoken to anyone above me or to anyone in the team about Kevin,” Broad said.
“It doesn’t hurt me or anything like that, but when people try to put big divides between players and Kevin…
“We shared the changing room for eight, nine years. He’s helped me from time to time. We’ve never raised voices against each other. It’s perceived to be worse than it is between the players.”