‘Silent treatment on medium pace Pom’ backfires as Stuart Broad rips through … – The Daily Telegraph
IT WILL go down in history as one of the biggest backfires in newspaper history.
On Wednesday, Brisbane’s Courier-Mail ran a massive front page image of Stuart Broad, who was labeled a “smug Pommy cheat”.
On the morning of the first Ashes Test at the Gabba, the host city paper vowed to ban all mention of Broad from Friday onwards and called on fans to give “the medium pace Pom the silent treatment”.
But the last word went to Broad, who responded with a match-dominating five wickets during a best-on-ground display that had Australia in trouble at 8/273 by the close of play.
Far from giving the blond bowler the silent treatment, Brisbane fans booed Broad as he took the field then generously applauded the right-hander after he removed Australian Mitchell Johnson for his landmark fifth scalp.
Broad earned Australian ire earlier this year during the English Ashes series when he refused to walk after clearly edging a ball to first slip.
But on Thursday the Australians were walking as Broad quickly dismissed most of the top order, including captain Michael Clarke for just one run.
As the wickets fell, the Courier-Mail’s front page whipped around the world via social media. Noting that the word “SHHHH” was emblazoned across Broad’s chest, US-based English CNN host Piers Morgan tweeted to his 3.8 million followers: “I’ve cracked the code – it was an ‘H’ for every wicket.”
Morgan, whose Twitter following is larger than Brisbane’s population, later added: “For those tuning in late, Australia won the toss and elected to capitulate.”
Former England captain Michael Vaughan, in Australia to join the Channel Nine commentary team, also weighed in sending the front page to his 470,000+ followers with the words: How to motivate @StuartBroad8 #cheers.
Online pranksters rewrote the Courier-Mail’s Wikipedia entry, appointing Broad as the editor, while English cricket fans rejoiced across the internet.
“Broad will be outside the Courier Mail’s offices yelling ‘say my name bitches!'” wrote one expat now living in Australia.
Others looked forward to the newspaper’s coverage of the first day’s play, to see if the Courier-Mail could possibly live up to its promise that Broad would not be mentioned.
“There is no question that this was England’s day, and more specifically Stuart Broad’s day,” reported website Cricinfo, noting that besides his five-wicket haul Broad has also gone past 50 Test wickets for the year.
At the Courier-Mail’s own Twitter account, the newspaper appeared to be taking a bet each way following the end of Thursday’s play.
While still not mentioning Broad by name, the Courier-Mail offered this: “Congrats to England’s medium pace strike bowler for his five-wicket haul today.”
In today’s edition, they referred to Broad simply as “England’s medium pace strike bowler”.