However, despite the wealth available around the world, Brooke said there was not even an idea of negotiating with England when Rob Key contacted him.
“Immediately as soon as England called, I would have signed the contract,” Brook said, a day after the second ODI against the West Indies. “I wanted to play for England all my life.”
As the most talented player of his generation, Brook’s commitment to England is a boon for the national team as they are able to control the workload of one of their most important assets, who himself admitted he felt he needed a break after picking up an injury. Tough World Cup campaign.
Since his Test debut in September 2022, no one has played as many games for England as Brook’s 45. And you won’t find another player who played until you get to Chris Woakes at number seven on that list with 32 games. Test cricket. With such a heavy workload, there could have been a consideration of resting Brook for the ODIs and making him join the T20Is squad.
“Obviously England made that decision, but I’m happy to be here to be honest,” Brook said of the possibility of an extended break. “It’s a different lifestyle. I used to wake up at six o’clock every morning and jump in the sea, so it’s been a fun ride so far.”
For a cricketer like Brook, the West Indies tour also represents an opportunity to work on a form of the game of which he has had almost no experience. After the World Cup, he returned to his school coach for a few work sessions, but the challenge of finding a rhythm in one-day cricket remains a major challenge. A fact that made his 71 in the first ODI all the more satisfying.
“I liked the way I played my innings,” Brook said, reflecting on his innings of running the ball at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. “I struggled a bit with this format at the beginning of my career. I couldn’t find the rhythm I wanted to play with.
“Until the summer I didn’t play anything. So, yeah, I was just trying to figure it out, find my feet in the right shape and try to find a rhythm in the way I wanted to play. England have a reputation for being an ‘aggressive side but there’s always plenty of time.’ The other day was a perfect example of this. “I came out of the end about nine times and it felt like I sat on the balcony watching for about three hours.”
Despite the relentless workload, Brook has put his name in the Indian Premier League auction, which, after England’s five-match Test tour there in January, will mean he spent the best part of six months from the beginning of October to the end of May in India.
“In India, you can end up sitting in your hotel room and not having a lot of things to do,” Brook said of the cricket-mad country where celebrity influence takes things to a extreme and can make social media a particularly difficult place to be. “I’ve been staying away from social media for a while. So anything I stumble upon, I delete it off the phone… I think that’s helped my game, helped my mental health and everything, being away from social media and seeing everything.” The negativity it brings.”
This marks a change for Brook, who after a string of low scores in IPL 2023 said in a post-match interview after his century against Kolkata Knight Riders that he was “happy he was able to shut them down [his critics] So to be honest.”
Brock laughed when he recalled the incident, saying: “I was a fool and said something stupid in an interview and I regret it a little,” adding that this incident was not the only one that prompted him to leave social media. “I find myself scrolling through Instagram or whatever, and I come across things that I don’t want to see, so I thought it was the right idea to get rid of them. Obviously I still have Instagram and Twitter but thankfully I have someone managing them for me.”
Cameron Ponsonby is a freelance cricket writer in London. @cameroonbonson