About Stuart

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It was one devastating 12-over spell that propelled England towards the Ashes and Stuart Broad to his place among the true superstars of world cricket.

It came at the Brit Oval in the final Test of a momentous Ashes series in 2009 and ensured that Broad, at just 23, could be talked of in the same breath as some of the greatest names the game has known who have played leading roles in the most famous series of them all. That spell, on the second day of the fifth Test, saw Broad take five for 37, including a spell of four wickets for eight runs in 21 balls, to devastate Australia and swing the series dramatically England's way. Two balls later the fabled urn was secured.

The meteoric rise of Stuart Broad had started in his back garden growing up in Leicestershire when he urged his older sister Gemma to throw a ball at him and was culminated, just three years after his international debut, on that glorious afternoon in South London. Yet in truth the story has only just begun.

Stuart Broad was born to be a cricketer, from the time when his mother Carole encouraged those sessions in the garden to the regular visits he would make to Trent Bridge to watch his father Chris, an Ashes hero himself, open the batting for Nottinghamshire.

Broad junior would play cricket just beyond the Trent Bridge boundary with a young Phillip Robinson, son of Chris's opening partner Tim, dreaming of one day emulating his father and playing both county and international cricket. Little did he know then how far he would travel so quickly.

Early interests in hockey and rugby gave way to a sole concentration on cricket when Stuart began to thrive at the game under the supervision of coaches Frank Hayes and David Steele at Oakham School. An opening batsman and occasional bowler who used to swing the ball at medium-pace with the keeper standing up became a hostile opening bowler following a growth spurt and a spell in the harsh environment of Australian club cricket with Melbourne's Hoppers Crossing at the age of 17.

Just two years later, at 19, Stuart was making his first-class debut for Leicestershire and just a year later, in 2006, he was making his first one-day international appearance for England against Pakistan.

Stuart took to international cricket like a duck to water and it was only a matter of time before he would play in the ultimate form of the game, Test cricket. A debut at Lord's in 2007 looked certain but he was overlooked in favour of a late squad replacement in Chris Tremlett but the big day finally came in the harshest of environments when Broad played against Sri Lanka in Colombo in late 2007.

A combination of the flattest of pitches and the uncompromising batting of Mahela Jayawardene made it a baptism of fire for Stuart but since then progress has been rapid, starting with a productive tour of New Zealand in 2008.

By the start of the 2009 Ashes Broad was a regular member of the England attack, his freshness and readiness for the biggest battle of them all aided by his mature decision to turn down several offers to play in the Indian Premier League earlier that year after a demanding tour of the West Indies.

A momentous series swung one way then the other but Broad made his mark in the fourth Test at Headingley when he took career-best figures and featured in a spirited batting rearguard which delayed a convincing Australian victory to level the Ashes at 1-1 with one game to play.

What followed at the Oval was a continuation of what Broad started in Leeds and now he is one of the first names on any England teamsheet. Stuart has already batted at number seven in Test cricket and looks sue to develop into a genuine all-rounder and the most likely successor to Andrew Flintoff in the England team.

With a shrewd cricket brain and a maturity beyond his years Stuart also looks likely to become an England captain of the future, a long way from that Leicestershire back garden where it all began.