The decision to leave veteran pacer Stuart Broad out of the England team for the first Test against West Indies in Southampton has received a fair share of criticism from all corners. On the final day of the match, England needed to defend the target of 201, and despite a good start with the ball, the hosts were unable to keep Windies batting line-up at bay and the visitors went on to pull off a 4-wicket win to take 1-0 lead in the series. As expected, fans started questioning whether the decision to drop Broad proved to be the fatal one for England and if things could have been different on the final day if he was in the team.
On being asked about the same at the post-match presentation ceremony, Stokes said that he does not regret the decision to leave Broad out of the team. "I don't regret leaving Stuart Broad out, and we are fortunate to leave someone like him out. I would be upset if he didn't show the passion he did in that interview, and he's nowhere near done. If he plays in the second Test I hope he walks off with some wickets," Stokes said.
England had picked three pacers in the team for the first Test - Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and James Anderson. In a recent interview with Sky News, Broad expressed his emotions on the decision and said that he was 'angry' and 'frustrated' over the decision.
"I've been frustrated, angry and gutted because it's quite a hard decision to understand. I've probably bowled the best I've ever bowled in the last couple of years. I felt like it was my shirt, having been in the team through the Ashes and going to South Africa and winning there," Broad had said.
Elaborating further on the situation with Broad, Stokes, at the post-match press conference said: "We made a decision based around thinking pace was going to stand us a better place in the long game. Stuart is a fantastic bowler and he understands the reasons why."
"If I was to regret that, I don't think that sends the right message to the other guys I picked. Looking at the interview he gave I thought it was absolutely brilliant, to see the desire and passion that he showed," he further added.