With apologies to those visitors to Just Backdated for whom cricket is an insect found in warm climates that makes a rattling sound, there’s no music commentary today, just a thought about England’s cricket XI winning the Ashes last Saturday.

It was the day the football season opened, but in the morning English cricket all-rounder Stuart Broad stepped forward to be presented with one of those huge cheques that sponsors favour because their name is in big letters and can be seen clearly on the TV screen. But huge in monetary value it wasn’t, not by sporting standards anyway. Broad won just £2,500 for being nominated Man of the Match in this Fourth Test against Australia at Nottingham’s Trent Bridge, the game that secured the Ashes for England. The MotM award recognised his bowling analysis of eight wickets for 15 runs in 9.3 overs during Australia’s first innings in which they were skittled out for just 60 runs, and in the process Broad reached 308 wickets in Test cricket, thus elevating him to the position of fourth most prolific English bowler ever. For good measure he also made 24 not out in England’s first and only innings at Trent Bridge and took a further wicket during Australia’s second innings.

By any measure this was a superb performance with the ball, not least because Broad stepped up to do his stuff in the absence of our injured foremost strike bowler Jimmy Anderson. It ensured the English victory that secured the trophy that means more to English cricket than any other.
         Test match cricket is played over five days with a minimum of six hours play each day, weather permitting, though England’s superiority with bat and ball meant this particular game lasted only until two balls into the 11th over of the third day (and part of cricket time, of course, is spent in the pavilion waiting your turn to bat). As well as the £2,500 MotM award Broad would have received a £5,000 match fee, so his efforts over two and bit days earned him £7,500.
         The average salary for a Premiership footballer in the UK is £25,000 to £30,000 a week, with the top earners on £250,000 or more. Wayne Rooney, the captain of Manchester United, who secured a 1-0 victory over Tottenham on the same day that England won the Ashes, is said to earn £300,000 a week and is probably our highest paid footballer. He was on the pitch for 90 minutes. He didn’t score a goal. He wasn’t Man of the Match. He earned 40 times more than Stuart Broad. 

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