Stuart Broad: Nick Joyce pays tribute to stepson's rise to world number one
It took one more heroic spell for Stuart Broad to become what his former team-mates at Egerton Park have known him to be all along - the best bowler in the world.
Little more than 10 years since Broad played his last match for his only domestic league club, the 29-year-old was officially top of the ICC world Test bowling rankings.
His spellbinding match-winning performance against the stunned South Africans made him the first Englishman to fill the top spot in a decade.
The burst - which included a spell of five wickets for one run from 31 balls – was perfectly timed for step-dad Nick Joyce who was on the final day of a month’s tour with Wartnaby-based Howzat Travel.
He had the perfect view of the mayhem, perched high behind the bowler’s arm. But after the fifth wicket fell, Joyce had to fight his instincts and tear himself away from the action to catch a flight back to the UK and home to Whissendine.
He said: “He got the first wicket which was a wonderful ball and then I saw his body language and his attitude. I suddenly thought, ‘he is going to get all 10’.
“I have watched him since he was five years of age and I recognise that look on his face.
“The only thing that stopped Stuart was the high altitude. He bowled eight overs and had a couple of chases to the boundary and he got tired.
“If he had been at Trent Bridge he would have got them all out.
“I had never seen anything like it before. His 8 for 15 (against Australia) was technically superb and so was this, but it was also with so much aggression.”
No less significantly, Broad’s figures of 6 for 17 also took him past Bob Willis into third spot in the list of England’s all-time leading Test wicket-takers.
His tally of 330 victims from 90 matches is currently only topped by team-mate Jimmy Anderson (429 from 112) and legendary all-rounder Sir Ian Botham (383 from 102).
Joyce added: “I think he will race up to 400 wickets within the next two years and he could pass Beefy by Christmas with a following wind behind him.
“I have watched Test cricket regularly for 50 years and it leaves me speechless sometimes: not just what Stuart does, but the whole team.
“Joe Root could be England’s best batsman of all time and Stokes’ 250 was just awesome.
“What’s important with Stuart is that it happens often. Spells come out that determine a series and they are quite phenomenal.”
Joyce made more than 300 appearance for the Leicester Tigers and played his club cricket for Egerton Park, in Melton, where he introduced a young Broad.
Despite his global fame and the plentiful attention it brings, Broad remains grounded and loyal to his roots Joyce says.
“He was guided by David Steele and Frank Hayes at Oakham School,” he said. “But Egerton Park has been his only club and it’s very much in his thoughts.
“His mother (Carole) and I brought him up to be well-mannered and polite.
“I’ve seen him spend an hour signing autographs after a game when he really should be warming down.
“He probably remembers when he was young and wanted to see people and knows what it’s like.
“But I don’t think he quite realises the effect he has on people. I have seen it – people almost melt – but he doesn’t understand that.
“He will very quietly whisper things to you where he will be staggered by what he has done, but I don’t think he can really appreciate it yet.”