London: England’s pace-bowling stalwart Stuart Broad is reportedly likely to miss the Test tour of Pakistan in December as his fiancee, Mollie King, is due to give birth before the end of the year, a report in Evening Standard has said.
England are scheduled to play three Tests, beginning in Rawalpindi on December 1, with the other two matches scheduled in Multan and Karachi.
This will be the first time in 17 years that England will be playing a Test on Pakistani soil. They last toured the subcontinent in 2005, following which a terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team bus in Lahore in 2009 resulted in Pakistan getting isolated.
Ahead of the Test series, England are also scheduled to play seven T20Is in September-October in Pakistan in preparation for the ICC T20 World Cup. Following the global event in Australia, England will against return to Pakistan for the three Test matches.
The report added that as a result of the family commitment, Broad “seems set to miss this winter’s tour”. The 36-year-old bowler has never played in Pakistan in his 15-year international career.
Broad likely missing the tour would mean he will have to wait another five months for the next opportunity to play red-ball cricket for England once the ongoing series against South Africa concludes next month.
Broad would like to finish the ongoing three-Test series against the Proteas on a high, given that if he skips the Pakistan tour in December, the next opportunity for him will come in February 2023 when England play two Tests against New Zealand in February.
Broad had a forgettable outing in the opening Test against South Africa at Lord’s where he got just one wicket as England lost the match by an innings ans 12 runs.
Broad admitted in his column for the Daily Mail following the defeat that he was a “bit tentative” in the match.
“Personally, maybe I was a bit tentative, questioning my rhythm and how my action was, instead of focusing on being really competitive. Perhaps I didn’t have that attitude of ‘I’m coming for you, batter,’ that people associate with me.
“Perhaps I erred on the side of caution because I wasn’t going into the Test match-hardened. We had not played for six weeks and you only have to be slightly off in your competitive spirit for it to show at international level,” he said in his column.