New Zealand's greatest bowler may have made retaining the Ashes a much tougher proposition for Australia.

English fast bowler Stuart Broad has revealed that some words of wisdom from Sir Richard Hadlee has inspired him to make significant changes to his bowling action, as he eyes Ashes glory later this year.

In a column for the Mail on Sunday, Broad divulged that he used Hadlee as an inspiration to make technical changes to his action - shortening his run-up, changing his stride pattern and utilising a higher release position, all in the hopes of extending his test career.

Broad, who sits fifth all-time in test wickets by a seam bowler with 433 – two more than Hadlee – watched YouTube footage to try and copy Hadlee's pattern from his test against England at Edgbatson in 1990 – a match in which Hadlee took eight wickets.


The 32-year-old then got in touch with Hadlee, who in turn gave Broad a two-page response via email, detailing how and why he changed his approach later in his career.

"It was awesome, wrote Broad. "That in particular was what inspired me to go for it.

"He reckons it gave him an extra six years on his career, that he became meticulously accurate, had such control at the crease that he wouldn't bowl a bad ball and that it gave him more bounce.

"These are all the same reasons that I want to make a change. If it's good enough for one of the best bowlers in history, why not me?"

Broad is hoping that his higher release position and shorter run-up will provide him with extra bounce, which could come in handy as he prepares for what he believes will be his final home Ashes series.

"This time last year I did a lot of work on my wrist position and then took six wickets in the first innings against New Zealand in Christchurch, so I hope the changes to my run-up will have a similarly positive effect," he said.

England play three tests against the West Indies next month, and a one-off match against Ireland in July, before Australia visit in August and September for the Ashes.

Considering Australia's test struggles at home against India, and England's recent 3-0 series sweep in Sri Lanka, England will likely be favoured to win the Ashes, in their home conditions.


And, if Hadlee's advice proves helpful for Broad, then England could be well and truly primed to take back the urn.