Veteran England fast-bowler James Anderson revealed that recently-retired pacer Stuart Broad had thoughts of taking retirement from all forms of cricket last season but was stopped from doing so by Test skipper Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum.

With 604 scalps in Tests, Broad sits in fifth place on the all-time list of wicket-takers in the format and is one of only two fast bowlers to take over 600 wickets, his long-time bowling partner Anderson. Broad has also picked 178 wickets in 121 ODIs and 65 wickets in 56 T20Is since his international debut in August 2006.

‌”Stuart told me about his retirement over a coffee before we got on the team bus for the third day’s play. I was a bit shocked initially but when it sank in, it was not a surprise. He considered it last summer but Baz and Stokesy managed to talk him out of it.”

“It was hard crunching 15 years of cricket together in a couple of sentences. I just wrote “It’s hard to know where to start. Thanks for all the memories, I owe you so much.” I might send him a little gift in the next few weeks when I’ve properly thought about it.”

“We talked about the photo of us going out to bat on Day Five at The Oval, perhaps I will get a couple of those blown up. It is definitely the one photo I would like hanging in my house,” wrote Anderson in his column for The Telegraph.

Broad, who made his Test debut against Sri Lanka in 2007, will go down as one of the greatest fast bowlers in the sport after signing off with a 49-run win over Australia in the final Ashes Test at The Oval. 

In the match, he hit a six on the last ball he faced and took a wicket on the final delivery of his cricketing career, with his Ashes 2023 wickets tally at 22 scalps.

He also said it was great the duo did not bow out of cricket together as Broad deserved his own send-off. 

‌”On a professional level, Stuart leaves a big hole for me. We didn’t realise it at the time but when we were young, we were in direct competition so raised our standards to compete.”

“When we started playing together we complemented each other and understood the other’s game, how we were trying to take wickets and what we could do to help that. As the years have gone on, we have bought into our respective games. I have been his coach and he has been my coach.”

“Then if you look back on the Ashes series, as he said himself it was the perfect way to go out. It was nice we did not go out at the same time together as well. We have always been put in a bracket as a partnership but he is in his own right one of the best bowlers England have ever produced so he deserved his own send-off,” he concluded.