On July 31st, the cricketing world bid adieu to one of England’s finest pacers, Stuart Broad, as he played his last Test match against Australia in the Ashes 2023 series. In a thrilling finale, Broad’s last ball heroics saw him claim the wicket of Alex Carey, leaving a lasting mark on his illustrious career and helping England draw the five-match series 2-2.
Having announced his decision to retire after the match’s conclusion, Stuart Broad walked onto the pitch with emotions running high. In a poetic display, he struck a six on the last ball he faced as a batsman, leaving spectators in awe of his tenacity and skill. As he took charge of the ball in his final innings as a bowler, the veteran pacer remained wicketless until the 91st over of the innings.
With grit and determination, Broad finally broke the spell, dismissing Todd Murphy, caught behind on the final ball of the 91st over. But he wasn’t done yet. In the 95th over, Broad managed to find the outside edge of Alex Carey’s bat, and Jonny Bairstow’s safe hands completed the catch. Australia was bowled out for 334 runs, falling short of the 384-run target, and England secured a memorable 49-run victory in the final Test.
Speaking after the game, an emotional Stuart Broad shared his thoughts on the culmination of his Test career, expressing gratitude for the support and memories he created throughout the years.
Broad’s final moment of glory adds him to an elite list of players who have bid adieu to Test cricket with a wicket on the last ball of their careers. Let’s take a look at three other legends who achieved this remarkable feat:
The Australian pace maestro, Glenn McGrath, concluded his Test career in style during the 2006/07 Ashes series. In the final Test held in Sydney, McGrath clinched a total of six wickets, including James Anderson on the last ball of the match. Australia emerged victorious with a resounding 10-wicket win, giving McGrath a fitting farewell at his home venue.
The legendary Sri Lankan spinner, Muttiah Muralitharan, showcased his brilliance in his final Test match against India at Galle International Stadium in 2010. With three wickets in his final innings, he achieved the incredible milestone of 800 Test wickets. Muralitharan’s last ball saw him dismissing Pragyan Ojha, contributing to Sri Lanka’s commanding 10-wicket triumph.
The former New Zealand fast bowler, Richard Hadlee, marked his farewell Test against England in July 1990 at Birmingham. As the Player of the Series, Hadlee showcased his all-round prowess, scoring 107 runs and taking 16 wickets. His final wicket came on the last ball of his career, as he bowled to Devon Malcolm, trapping him LBW for a duck.
Stuart Broad’s departure from Test cricket leaves a void in the sport, but his legacy as one of England’s most iconic bowlers will endure for generations. As cricket enthusiasts celebrate his remarkable career, they will continue to cherish the memories he etched in the annals of the game.