Stuart Broad, speaking on the day he accepted an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Nottingham, said the honour has capped an amazing year.
Having played a starring role in an Investec Ashes triumph in 2015 - and become only the fifth bowler in England’s history to pass 300 Test wickets - the 29-year-old fast bowler joined the University’s Class of 2015 - and shared some practical advice with his fellow graduates.
“It’s an amazing honour for me and - to see people graduating - how hard they have been working for their degrees and seeing the smiles on their faces, it’s fantastic to be in that room.
“Being born in Nottingham, seeing my Dad play cricket for Nottinghamshire and now playing myself for Notts and England, I’m very proud to be from the city and I have great memories here.
“Don’t look too far ahead,” Broad continued when asked to provide advice for his fellow graduates.
“People maybe get overwhelmed with big decisions and can fear failure.
“At the start of my career I had worries about searching for perfection all the time and you’ve got to find the right balance there.
“Don’t be shy to make mistakes and always try to take positive options. As a bowler that’s something you learn very quickly. Make a mistake and learn from it because it will only improve you.”
Although 2015 provided an international cricket rollercoaster for Broad as World Cup failure and disappointment in the West Indies was transformed into Investec Ashes glory, he returned to play three matches for Nottinghamshire, one in each of the three domestic competitions.
He is looking forward to doing so many more times during forthcoming seasons - and admitted to being both humbled by the Club’s traditions and excited for its future.
“I love coming back and playing for Notts when I’m not playing for England,” he said.
“It’s a welcoming changing room and one where the management and coaches push the players to improve themselves all the time.
“Nottinghamshire are a really good team, they’re always competing for every trophy, which is important.
“As players you’ve got a short career and you want to win trophies.
“To play at a county that’s got a history of winning silverware and are always pushing to win more is something that excites me.”
Since the conclusion of the World Cup in March, England’s selectors have opted to wrap their prized bowling asset in cotton wool ready for red ball cricket, rather than let him loose in the white ball arena.
Broad backed the move to monitor his workload but, with an ICC World Twenty20 on the horizon in 2016 - and the 50-over World Cup coming to Nottingham and England three years later - he retains ambitions to be a multi-format international cricketer.
“I’ve played all three formats for the last nine years so I do know it’s a big workload, but it’s something I really enjoy and something I’ve targeted as a player,” he said.
“You’re always looking to continually improve yourself and better your goals.
“At the start of the year I said I wanted to play one-day cricket again leading into the 2019 World Cup, which will be in England.
“I know Cooky (England Test captain Alastair Cook) wants to keep me fresh for Test match cricket, so there’s a balance to be had, but I’m keen to play as many games for England as I possibly can.”
With a series against the world’s number one side less than three weeks away, the red ball format remains front of mind at least for the time-being.
“I’ve never been someone who looks too far ahead,” he said. “As a professional sportsman that can be quite scary because you might take your mind off what you need in the next few weeks, to beat the next team or improve yourself as a player.
“But I’m getting to the age now where you do have to start looking further ahead and that can be quite exciting as well; what you might look to do when you finish playing.
“I’m very focused on going to South Africa on Thursday, it excites me playing against the best teams in the world.
“I’m really motivated to make sure my level of performance is up there for Boxing Day.”
The 2015 season has seen dramatic last-gasp four day victories, thrilling limited-overs contests and an historic Investec Ashes Test, all in the unique surroundings of Trent Bridge.
Next season, we’d wager, will be no less enthralling and frankly we’d hate for you to miss out.