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Broad accepts need to play waiting game

© AFP/File | England's Stuart Broad (R) reacts during the fourth day of the fifth and final Test cricket match between India and England at The M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on December 19, 2016

LONDON (AFP) - 

Stuart Broad has accepted the decision of the England and Wales Cricket Board to prevent him playing in Nottinghamshire's second match of the new season even though he wanted to continue to appear for his county.

Fast bowler Broad is a centrally contracted player and, as such, it is ECB director Andrew Strauss, his former England captain, who has the final say on when he can play for Midlands county Nottinghamshire.

The ECB confirmed Wednesday that it was sticking to its plans for both Broad and Test new-ball partner James Anderson, neither of whom now feature in international white-ball cricket.

The pair, who are unlikely to be needed by England until the first Test against South Africa in July, will be rested this week after appearing in County Championship openers for Nottinghamshire and Lancashire respectively before returning on April 21.

Broad bowled a mere 21 overs in Nottinghamshire's three-day win over Midlands rivals Leicestershire, the county where he started his career he hoped this meant he would be free to play against Durham this week.

"It is a tricky one," Broad told Talksport Radio. "Straussy won't mind me saying I spoke to him, (and) I wanted to play this week. I felt in a really good rhythm and wanted to carry that on.

"But I think as a player sometimes you do get in that short-term mindset -- 'I want to play now, I want to play now' -- and the ECB very much control workloads throughout a whole year."

Broad added: "They're going to want their bowlers come Boxing Day (December 26), come the Sydney Test in the new year.

"So I can certainly see an argument for both sides."

Meanwhile Strauss said: "We have to recognise the demands of the international programme over the next 12 months, with seven Tests in 10 weeks from July followed by another seven in Australia and New Zealand over the winter.

"We have to manage all our players and especially our bowlers accordingly.

"Both Stuart and Jimmy are committed to their counties and keen to play as much as possible. But equally they recognise both the challenges and demands to come over the summer.

"A plan for availability for the early-season fixtures has been put together in consultation with the players, and counties were made aware of the likely schedule back in January."

Central contracts, introduced by the ECB in 2000, are widely regarded with having had a key effect in the England team's improved performances after a woeful run of results in the 1990s as they helped guard against pacemen such as Broad being 'bowled into the ground' by their counties in between international matches.

But there has been criticism that the ECB have not been sufficiently flexible in how they operate.

For example Yorkshire were denied the services of England batsmen Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow for the closing rounds of the 2016 County Championship, where a defeat on the final day of the season saw Middlesex take the First Division crown and end their bid for a third straight title.

© 2017 AFP