Despite recent injuries being attributed to footballing warm-ups, Stuart Broad has maintained that England’s pre-match football games are good for morale.
And in the wake of new ECB director of cricket Ashley Giles’ threats to ban the pre-match footballing, he also maintains that wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow’s ankle ligament injury had nothing to do with the warm-ups.
Giles is to address the issue with coach Trevor Bayliss and captain Joe Root amid fears of a repeat situation where players are forced to miss matches through knocks picked up playing football.
However, despite Giles’ review of the practice, England players mean to keep on playing football as part of their early morning routine and Broad has made a strong case for the positives of the kick-about based on his decade as an international.
Speaking as the squad settled in Barbados he said: "We’ve not been told anything on that
front. The football and goalkeeping gloves were ordered from New Balance and came with us
in the bag," per the Daily Mail.
"Certainly, we are expecting to be warming up playing football because its been so successful
for us as a team-building exercise, a fun thing, integrating players into the group, making
people feel at home quickly.
"If two new players come into the squad they’re immediately the football captains, you get a
bit of banter going and they are made to feel a part of things.
"We are very sensible about where we play. For example, in Sri Lanka we didn’t play a lot
because it was so hot and we didn’t want to wear ourselves out pre-game. It’s great for fitness
and if players keep to the no-tackling guidelines its fine."
Concerning Bairstow’s injury and the necessary handover of the wicketkeeper’s gloves to Ben
Foakes, he added: "Rumours that Jonny Bairstow injured his ankle playing football are a load
of rubbish. It was in the football warm-up but he tripped over himself 30 yards away from the
"He could have done that anywhere in the world and we play a sport that causes people to get
injured. Fast bowling is brutal on the body. Getting a ball hitting you at 90 miles an hour can
be brutal on the body."