England pacer Stuart Broad has gone on to forge a highly successful career as an international cricketer, but not many know that he has battled asthma since the time he was born. The fast-bowler divulged how he used to hide his health condition during his younger days from his school friends as he was embarrassed by it.
Speaking on the matter with the PA news agency, Stuart Broad said:
"My asthma started from the day I was born. I probably became aware of it from the age of six or seven and fully aware of it from 12 or 13 – that’s when I fully started to actually feel like my breathing would get tight and I started to understand what asthma was. I think the biggest thing I suffered with, with my asthma as a teenager was I wouldn’t tell anyone about it. I suppose I was a bit ashamed of having it because I didn’t want to get the judgement from my friends at school."
Broad recalled an incident when he missed school for two weeks, and subsequently lied to his friends about why he didn't turn up for his classes.
"I had an asthma attack when I was 14 and had to have two weeks off school and I just didn’t tell my friends why I was off school. I just said I wasn’t very well which now seems mad,” said Stuart Broad.
The England fast bowler gave credit to his mother, a sports teacher, who supported him to cope with his condition.
"My mum played a huge role in it not affecting me with my activities or sport. I think it’s very easy for parents to draw their children away from doing exercise when they have asthma but I was lucky that my mum was a sports schoolteacher, so she was quite clear on how she wanted me to cope with my asthma," Stuart Broad added.
"If I go running in the cold I really tighten up”- Stuart Broad
The 34-year-old fast bowler further revealed that he still tightens up when he goes for a run, especially in cold weather. Stuart Broad revealed his mother helped him find the right balance in his exercise routine, which gave him the confidence to pursue cricket as a career.
"She just knew the right sort of limits for me to go. She knew I had to do exercise for my health and wellbeing but knew that the right sort of times to pull me back and rein me slightly, particularly if it was cold in the winter. I used to find, and still do now if I go running in the cold I really tighten up," revealed Broad.
My mum was quite strong on making sure I learned about my asthma as much as I could through exercise. That gave me confidence that cricket was a sport I could play," the England bowler said.
Stuart Broad is one of just seven bowlers in the history of Test cricket to have taken 500 or more wickets. The fast bowler is still going strong at 34 and is considered one of the best in the business in Test cricket.