Stuart Broad has spoken of his desire to ‘keep driving forward’ on the international stage after enjoying a ‘dream summer’ in the 2019 Ashes series.
The Nottinghamshire and England seamer is in the Test squad for next month's series against New Zealand, but is hoping to stay at the top of his game long after this winter, including for a Test return to Trent Bridge next August.
"I'm someone who never really looks too far ahead," he said.
"I think if you look towards the end of your career you slow down as a sportsman. You stop trying to improve, stop driving yourself forward.
“I look a month ahead at a time at the moment. I feel fit, I feel fresh, and my fitness testing is as strong as it has ever been, which is a good sign.
“That old saying is that age is just a number and I feel really good.
"Jimmy (Anderson, Broad’s long-time new ball partner) is an inspiration for me - he is 37, he is in physically great condition and he has bowled the best he has bowled over the last three years of his whole career.
"Why can't I do that? Why can't I play to that sort of age and keep improving? That's got to be my driver, the thing that pushes me on."
Broad assumed the role of leader of the attack for much of the summer, after Anderson was ruled out for most of the season through injury.
But just as at Trent Bridge in 2015 when his 8-15 proved crucial in winning the urn, the right-armer shouldered the burden with ease.
"It certainly wasn't good for me that one of my best mates gets injured after four overs in a series that he has dreamt about playing in for the last couple of years," he said.
"I felt an added responsibility and that creates opportunities - every time someone gets injured in sport there is an opportunity for someone else.
"I had to step up a little bit with our best bowler not being there and I do thrive off a bit of extra responsibility.”
The 33-year-old’s success against David Warner became one of the defining storylines of the series.
The Australia opener lost his wicket to Broad on seven occasions in the five-match encounter, and the seamer was happy that his pre-series plans for the destructive batsman paid off – with the delivery which castled Warner at Lord’s giving him particular pleasure.
"[Warner] is a world-class player and I have played against him for such a long time, so to find something that worked against him this summer gave me quite a bit of professional satisfaction,” he said.
"I felt he scored too much through the off side against me so I just wanted to hit his stumps a lot more. When I got him lbw and bowled, those were the ones that pleased me the most because those were the ones I was visualising most pre-game.
"If you get the ball to nip back up the slope at Lord's it is a bit of luck, a bit of fate but the ball has got to be in the right area to hit the stumps.
"The next day he came up to me and gave me a nudge in the ribs like 'that was a good one!'
"We have a lot of respect for each other which is nice in professional sport. He will come back strong - he scored a hundred in his first innings back in Australia and I expect him to continue to do that."
International cricket is back at Trent Bridge in 2020, with England hosting a Test against Pakistan and an ODI against Ireland.
Secure your seats here...