Old Oakhamian Stuart Broad has firmly secured his place as one of the world’s finest cricketers after taking his 500th wicket in Test Cricket.
He is only the seventh bowler, and fourth seam bowler, to have achieved this feat in the game’s history. Impressively, he is also the second youngest, aged just 34, to have reached this extraordinary tally.
“Stuart’s success today 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,” says Oakham’s Director of Sport, Iain Simpson. “This accolade, and for his name to now be firmly placed amongst the all-time ‘cricketing greats’, is incredibly well deserved. We are all, at Oakham, very proud to see his success today.”
Already a legend in the Oakham School community for his successes to date, Stuart’s performance today has seen him now officially join an esteemed cohort of bowling legends: Muttiah Muralitharan (800), Shane Warne (708), Anil Kumble (619), his long-time strike partner James Anderson (589), Glenn McGrath (563), and Courtney Walsh (519).
Stuart began his cricketing career aged 11 at Oakham. He fondly recalled his time at the School when he returned to give an inspiring Q&A session with pupils, saying, “I did all my learning here at Oakham, as well as in the back garden at home.” During his post-match interview today 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. During his visit to the school, he described how Mr Hayes had advised him to “not make it too complicated, and to break it all down to its simplest form” – great advice which has certainly paid off years down the line!
As well as playing cricket for the 1st XI during his time at Oakham, Stuart was also a keen Rugby and Hockey player, the benefits of which he effused to pupils during his visit when he said, “it means that you meet more people, learn different skills and encounter different team dynamics”.
After leaving Oakham School, Stuart’s rise to one of England’s most successful cricketers began when he joined Leicestershire CCC, before moving to his current club, Nottinghamshire CCC. He made his debut for England against Sri Lanka in 2007, where he took his first Test wicket. 13 years and 500 wickets later, he is England’s Man of the Match and Series, taking 16 wickets to help beat the West Indies, and securing his place as one of cricket’s greats.