May 18, 2024

James Anderson: The England footballer’s future is in doubt after talks with Brendon McCullum

Image source, Getty Images

Comment on the photo, Anderson made his debut for the England national team in 2002

England coach Brendon McCullum has held talks with leading wicket-taker James Anderson about the future of the veteran.

McCullum told Anderson, who turns 42 in July, that England are looking to build a bowling attack for the future.

It is not clear whether Anderson has played his final Test or will bid farewell this summer.

Anderson took 700 wickets in 187 Tests – the most of any player in Test history.

  • author, Stephen Shimelt
  • Role, Chief Cricket Writer

He played four of England’s five Tests in India last winter, taking 10 wickets.

England do not play a Test until July when they begin a three-match series against the West Indies. This is followed by three more Tests against Sri Lanka in August and September.

The Sri Lanka series begins at Anderson’s home stadium, Emirates Old Trafford.

video caption, James Anderson’s first Test wicket for England against Zimbabwe

Anderson made his Test debut in 2003 and his 187th cap was an England record.

He is second on the list of all-time Test appearances behind Sachin Tendulkar, who played 200 times in India’s longest format.

The Lancastrian also played 194 one-day internationals and 19 T20 matches for England, but has focused solely on Test cricket since 2015 and has become a great in the game.

His 700th wicket came in the fifth Test against India in Dharamshala in March after which he said he was “not getting any worse” and wanted to earn his place in the England team in the summer.

After this summer, England play Test series in New Zealand and Pakistan before a home series against India in 2025 and the Ashes in Australia the following winter.

Anderson struggled during the 2023 Ashes in England, taking just five wickets in four matches.

His long-time bowling partner Stuart Broad, England’s second most successful bowler, retired after the dramatic end to that series.

video caption, The Ashes 2023: James Anderson describes his best wicket of his record-breaking career

“The decision has been made for him” – analysis

It speaks volumes about Anderson’s superior skill and athleticism and his desire for this news to come as a surprise.

Anderson’s future as a Test cricketer has been a topic of debate for years, but England have finally caught the nettle. The decision has been made for him.

Ben Stokes and McCullum have often been accused of being too lax, of creating a team that is harder to get into than to get out of, and of not making changes when they should have.

Those who made these claims forgot that the coach and captain are winners at heart, and that England did not win.

The big prize and the end of the Stokes-McCullum era will be the Ashes in Australia. England decided that a move on Anderson would help win back the urn.

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