Botham leads tributes as Broad bows out on high in England win

England great Sir Ian Botham led the tributes to Stuart Broad after the 37-year-old bowed out of Test cricket on a high at The Oval.

Broad hit a six with his final stroke of the bat before summoning a superb bowling performance to lead England to a dramatic fifth Test win over Australia – taking his second and final wicket with his last ball.

Botham, like Broad, regarded as one of the sport’s great all-rounders, wrote on Twitter: “Stuart Broad…a magnificent career…a great man and a wonderful person.. you did it – it was written in the stars.”

Former England captain Michael Vaughan described Broad’s concluding act as a “fairytale” and said the series as a whole – in which England hit back to draw 2-2 – served as a reminder of the superiority of the five-day format.

“Fairytales can happen,” Vaughan said on the BBC, before adding later on his social media account: “That’s been the best series I have had the pleasure to work on.

“Both teams deserve huge credit for the drama and entertainment across the five Tests – Test cricket is the greatest format and this series will remind everyone around the world why.”

Another former England captain, Sir Alastair Cook, said there had been an air of inevitability about the dramatic finale for his former international team-mate.

“It had to be Stuart Broad, it just had to be,” Cook told the BBC. “That’s why chasing such a big total is so hard. The crowd was right behind England, you just felt like they had that edge.”

Pakistan captain Babar Azam also paid a fulsome tribute to Broad, writing on social media: “Happy retirement, Broad!

“You have truly honoured our game with sheer passion… 600+ test wickets is quite an achievement and cricket will always remember your services.”

England limited overs skipper Jos Buttler congratulated Broad and called the series “truly captivating”, Azeem Rafiq hailed Broad’s career, insisting that “no words can do him justice”, while former England captain Eoin Morgan described the series as “epic”.

Tributes for Broad also came in from the world of football, with his beloved Nottingham Forest writing: “Memorable moment, memorable career. Congratulations, Stuart Broad.”

While new Real Madrid star Jude Bellingham added: “What a series, joy to watch!”

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