London, April 28: Veterans James Anderson and Stuart Broad will be considered “available for selection” for the first Test of the summer, against New Zealand at Lord’s on June 2, Rob Key, the new England men’s team manager, said on Thursday.
Despite their combined haul of 1,177 Test wickets, the futures of Anderson, 39, and Broad, 35, had been up in the air since England’s 4-0 Ashes defeat. They were not chosen in the England squad for the tour of the West Indies, where Joe Root’s side lost 1–0.
However, Key (speaking for the first time in his new role) said he had listened to the soundings of Root’s newly appointed successor, Ben Stokes, and both agreed that if Anderson and Broad are fit and fit, the start of the international season, then they will be back in the frame.
“Before I was advertised for this job, I called Jimmy and Broady and said, ‘For my money, guys, you’re up for selection for the first tryout of the summer,'” Key told the BBC.
“Okay, but I’m the CEO. What they want is for the captain to agree to that. One of the first things Ben Stokes said was ‘Jimmy and Broady are coming back’ and I agree. It could have been another story.” if we hadn’t agreed. But it wasn’t up for debate,” he added.
Broad returned to action for the first time this season in Nottinghamshire’s ongoing championship match at Trent Bridge, claiming a wicket in his third over as Worcestershire were eliminated 159 on opening day. Meanwhile, Anderson took two early wickets for Lancashire against Hampshire in the Ageas Bowl, having found the rhythm of him during an innings win over Gloucestershire at Old Trafford last week.
“They have their plans in place. We don’t need to tell Jimmy and Broady what to do, or how to prepare for a test match. If they don’t know now, no one will. And they have to be right and ready to go.” the selection for that first test. And I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t and they have a big role to play,” Key said.
Although deadlines are tight, with the first Test against New Zealand just over a month away, the England men’s team manager is “optimistic” that a new head coach can be appointed before the series begins. Simon Katich is believed to be among the top candidates, with Graham Ford and Gary Kirsten also in consideration, but with Stokes, “the best person to carry England forward”, now installed as captain, Key is confident the new framework of the team take shape quickly.
“There are some good names coming in from English cricket and world cricket. I’m trying to find out the ones I may not know much about. A lot of it doesn’t come from sitting across a room and asking what kind of manager you are.” are, but actually asking people who have worked with him,” she said.