Mind games have always been a significant element in the Ashes rivalry between England and Australia. More often than not, it starts ahead of their battle on the field with quite a few media statements. Both teams do this strategically to gain a psychological advantage over their opponents. Recently, England fast bowler Stuart Broad ignited the fire with his comments regarding the last Ashes that took place down under.

Broad mentioned that he does not count the 2021-22 Ashes as the real one, reasoning the COVID restrictions did the maximum damage, which hindered players from socializing and practising in their usual manner, and these aspects diminished the enthusiasm typically associated with the Ashes series.

“Nothing was harsher than the last Ashes series. But in my mind, I don’t class that as a real Ashes. Nothing about that series was high-level performance because of the COVID restrictions. The training facilities, the travel, not being able to socialize. I’ve written it off as a void series,” Broad had said, as quoted by the Daily Mail.

Broad’s claim was met with refutations from several Australian players, including Aussie fast bowler Mitchell Starc. Starc, who has extensive experience in the Ashes, countered Broad’s statement by suggesting that England’s players enjoyed certain privileges during the series that others did not have. He also expressed his satisfaction in helping Australia dominantly regain the Ashes.

“The funniest thing out of that was they called it quarantine on the Gold Coast. I did seven of them. That was the easiest by a country mile. The Poms had the pool, the gym, they were in a resort on the Gold Coast, they trained at Metricon (now Heritage Bank Stadium), weren’t confined to their rooms and had their families there. Was that really quarantine? They were still allowed to play golf on tour. Is that an excuse for 4-0? Dunno. It was a pretty good series to be a part of,” Starc told The Sydney Morning Herald.

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