Stuart Broad looked forward to a new England era after a miserable winter ended with ICC World Twenty20 exit in Chittagong on Saturday. England went down by three runs in a pulsating Super-10 stage Group One match against South Africa, going out of the semi-final race after two defeats in three matches.
That ended a frustrating winter for England who lost the coveted Ashes in Australia, a whitewash which turned acrimonious with the axing of key batsman Kevin Pietersen. "It's going to be a new era of English cricket, isn't it? It has been a tough winter," admitted Broad. (Match report)
"We've been away a huge amount of time so there is some fantastic opportunities available for players in the summer."
Broad said despite the exit there were some positives for the 2010 World Twenty20 champions. "We've had a lot of positives come out of this World Cup. If we had got out of the group there would have been a lot of surprised people. We're disappointed but we've done some good stuff with the squad available to us," said Broad. (Highlights | Points Table)
England had looked like the side to beat after they upset favourites Sri Lanka on Thursday, successfully chasing a challenging 190-run target. Alex Hales smashed a 64-ball 116 not out to carry England to their first win but South Africa piled up tournament's highest total of 196-5 on Saturday which was beyond England who managed to reach 193-7. (Match in pics)
Broad conceded rival captain AB de Villiers's 29-ball 69 not out made the difference. "We've come up three runs short and there's some pretty clear ways we could have stopped those three runs," said the captain.
"We didn't field well, but that can happen in these conditions. We didn't have the one guy going to get the Hales-like knock like he did the other day or 60 or 70 you realistically need in these sort of chases.
"But, sometimes a team, you have to hold your hands up and that knock from AB is as good as you'll ever see. He hits the ball 360 degrees and targeted the short boundary with fantastic success.
"We tried to go for yorkers but in these conditions it's unrealistic to get your yorkers consistently with a bar of soap."
Broad said losing some key players -- Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Luke Wright -- ahead of the tournament also hurt England. "We lost key men through injury. We can hold our heads up high and at the end of the day Twenty20 is an entertainment business and I don't think anybody is going to leave the ground today disappointed with nearly 400 runs scored, with sixes, fours and catches."
Broad hoped younger players will grab their chances in the summer. "We don't know the shake-up of the Test side or anything but you know the opportunities will arise and that's exciting for players to be involved in.
"I expect to see some excellent performances this summer, guys really desperate to play and hungry to succeed. It has been a draining winter and I'll have to be honest, I am looking forward to a bit of a break come Tuesday."
England play their meaningless last game against the Netherlands on Monday.