Stuart Broad knows only too well how quickly your luck can change in professional sport, and is determined to make amends this summer after his previous Ashes series was cruelly curtailed by injury.
The 27-year-old is a double Ashes winner, but has endured somewhat mixed fortunes in the prestigious series, having faced calls to be dropped in 2009 and suffering a tour ending abdominal tear a year later.
Broad struggled to impose himself at the start of his maiden Ashes series four years ago and saw his place in the team called into question, before playing a pivotal hand in England's decisive victory at The Oval in the final Test.
While disappointment was replaced by euphoria in 2009, the following winter told a different story as Broad was forced to fly home from Australia following England's iconic win in at the Adelaide Oval.
The England star missed the victories in Melbourne and Sydney that followed as the series was clinched 3-1 and, hardened by these experiences, is not allowing himself to become too caught up by the hype ahead of the latest Ashes series, which begins next week.
"I had big highs throughout the 2009 series but also a few lows. People were saying, “Should he be dropped?” before Headingley," Broad told the Daily Mail.
"Then there was Adelaide. The match was going so well and then I just ran in and tore my abdominal in half and it was the most distraught I’ve ever been through sport. I knew I was going home.
"I walked off and lifted my shirt and there was blood underneath my skin. It’s the only time I’ve cried because of sport. The coaches kept putting their arm around me and that’s what made me go. Everyone was distraught for me because they knew I was going home when 10 minutes before I’d been charging in during an Ashes game. It can change so quickly.
"That’s why I can’t build up the Ashes too much because I know it can be over in 10 minutes. Injury is part and parcel of being a fast bowler and you have to accept that, but I’d love to have been in Melbourne and Sydney. I hope I have the opportunity again."
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