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James Anderson
James Anderson

Anderson ‘proud’ of longevity as Test exit looms

LONDON: James Anderson said Monday he was “most proud” of his endurance as a Test bowler as he prepares for his farewell match with England after a career spanning two decades. The paceman, 42 at the end of this month, will bow out from international cricket after playing in the first match of the series between England and the West Indies at Lord’s starting on Wednesday.

It will be his 188th match in the format—he has already taken 700 Test wickets. No fast bowler has taken more wickets and only India batting hero Sachin Tendulkar has played more matches in the five-day game.

“Playing my 188th Test at just short of 42 years old, makes me the most proud and I’m still pushing myself to be the best I possibly can,” Anderson told a news conference at Lord’s. “Even though I’ve got one game left, I’ve still tried to train as hard as I can.”

England, looking ahead to the 2025/26 Ashes against Australia, effectively called time on a Test career that Anderson started against Zimbabwe at Lord’s 21 years ago. “I feel like I’m still bowling as well as I ever have,” he said. “But I knew it had to end at some point, whether it’s now or in a year or two.

“The fact it’s now is something I’ve got to deal with and accept. The last couple of months I’ve made peace with that. “I can’t complain. I don’t have any regrets, I’ve played hundreds of games for England, played with people who are much more talented than me but didn’t get the opportunity because of injury.”

Asked about his emotions, he said: “I feel pretty normal these last couple of days, trying not to think too much about it. “It’s been a strange couple of months. I feel pretty happy with where things are now and excited for the week.”

Anderson said he had yet to decide whether this week’s match would represent his farewell to first-class cricket or if he would play on for county side Lancashire. “I’ve loved being out on the field for Lancashire, always have,” said Anderson, who recently took an impressive 7-35 for the county. “I’ve not played a lot for them over the last 20 years, but always tried to give my all.” — AFP

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