Mitchell Starc responds to Stuart Broad claiming last Ashes series was 'void'
Mitchell Starc has dismissed Stuart Broad’s suggestion that Australia’s last Ashes victory was ‘void’ due to coronavirus restrictions.
Australia thumped England 4-0 on home soil in 2021-22 but Broad recently said that was not the ‘real Ashes’ and should be ‘written off as void’ because of restrictions on travel and socialising.
Speaking to the Daily Mail last month, Broad said: ‘I don’t class that as a real Ashes. The definition of Ashes cricket is elite sport with lots of passion and players at the top of their game.
‘Nothing about that series was high-level performance because of the Covid restrictions. The training facilities, the travel, not being able to socialise. I’ve written it off as a void series.’
Responding to Broad’s comments, Australia fast bowler Starc told the Sydney Morning Herald: ‘The funniest thing out of that was they called it quarantine on the Gold Coast.
‘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.’
Australia will attempt to retain the Ashes this summer as England prepare to host the five-match series, which starts on June 16.
Both teams are in action before the Ashes begins, with Australia facing India in the World Test Championship final at The Oval and England taking on Ireland in a one-off match at Lord’s.
England named a 15-player squad for the Ireland Test last week, opting to recall Jonny Bairstow following his injury lay-off at the expense of Ben Foakes.
On Wednesday, the ECB confirmed Worcestershire seamer Josh Tongue had been added to the squad for the first Test of the summer.
Tongue, 25, bolsters Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum’s bowling options following injury scares to James Anderson and Ollie Robinson, although both are expected to be fit for the Ashes opener.
Discussing Tongue’s call-up, England selector Luke Wright said: ‘We have been monitoring Josh for quite some time and he deserves this call-up to the Test squad.
‘It will be a great experience for him to understand and get used to the environment under Ben and Brendon.
‘It is important to have players ready to respond and with a big summer of Test cricket coming up, we will need that depth to our squad. We wish Josh and the rest of the squad well for the first international of the campaign.’
Tongue, a regular for the England Lions, has taken 11 wickets in four County Championship matches this season and dismissed Australia star Steve Smith in Worcestershire’s draw with Sussex.
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