Oakham School salutes the England cricketing exploits of former pupil Stuart Broad
Oakham School has led the plaudits after one of its finest cricketing protégés etched his name into the sport’s folklore this week.
Stuart Broad began his cricketing odyssey as an 11-year-old pupil at the Rutland school and honed his talents at their Doncaster Close ground.
The Old Oakhamian has since gone on to establish himself as one of the world’s finest cricketers.
And the 34-year-old cemented that spot on Tuesday when he took his 500th wicket in Test cricket as England defeated the West Indies at Old Trafford.
The fast bowler dismissed Kraigg Brathwaite to reach the memorable landmark and become only the seventh player to have achieved the feat in the game’s history.
And Oakham’s Director of Sport Iain Simpson feels Broad’s latest accolade is just reward for all his hard work and endeavours.
Simpson said: “Stuart’s success at Old Trafford is the culmination of not only his outstanding cricketing talent, but also many years of exceptional hard work and effort on the pitch and in training.
“This accolade, and for his name to now be firmly placed among the all-time ‘cricketing greats’, is incredibly well deserved. We are all, at Oakham, very proud to see his success.”
Broad is only the fourth seam bowler to join the star-studded 500-club and, at 34, is also the second youngest to reach the milestone.
He joins an esteemed cohort of bowling legends that includes Muttiah Muralitharan (800), Shane Warne (708), Anil Kumble (619), his long-time strike partner James Anderson (589), Glenn McGrath (563), and Courtney Walsh (519).
Broad – whose dad Chris was an opening batsman for England – fondly recalled his time at Oakham during a recent question-and-answer session with pupils.
And, during his post-match interview on Tuesday, he paid tribute to his coaches – including former Director of Cricket, Frank Hayes, who taught him both on the pitch and in the science laboratory.
He described how Mr Hayes had advised him to ‘not make it too complicated and to break it all down to its simplest form’ – which was advice that has certainly paid off years down the line.
Broad said: “I did all my learning at Oakham, as well as in the back garden at home.
“I have done some technical work and changed my run-up in the last 18 months and I think I am feeling the benefits and getting the rewards for that.
“I’m challenging the stumps. I mentally try to make the batsman play as much as possible and I actually judge myself on that so I think that’s a tactical thing that’s taken me to a really exciting level.”
As well playing cricket for the first team during his time at Oakham, Broad was also a keen rugby and hockey player, the benefits of which he effused to pupils during his visit.
He added: “It means that you meet more people, learn different skills and encounter different team dynamics.”