Inside story of James Anderson’s retirement from Test cricket revealed

The English international is the only pacer to bag 700 wickets in the longer cricket

By Web Desk
May 14, 2024
James Anderson represented England in 187 Test matches. — AFP

England’s pacer James Anderson on confirmed on May 11 that he will retire from Test cricket after the first Test against West Indies which will be played at the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground on July 10.

Anderson, 41, is widely considered England’s greatest pacer as he is the only fast bowler to take 700 wickets in Test cricket.

Rob Key, England’s managing director told the BBC's Test Match Special podcast that he, along with Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes decided to talk with Anderson and convinced the pacer to meet in person.

"When we made the decision and we thought, 'OK, we need to go and meet Jimmy and discuss the future', Brendon came to the conclusion that the right thing to do was to fly over to England [from New Zealand]," Key told the BBC's Test Match Special podcast.

"The three of us went up to see him: myself and Brendon caught the train up from London, and Stokesy was in Manchester, getting ready to fly out to America for a family holiday. 

"We all met Jimmy in a hotel near the station and we had a conversation for about an hour and a half, which Baz led. I don't think Jimmy was expecting it, but I don't think it was completely unexpected.”

Key stated that they told Anderson that it was time to move on as they were looking forward to bringing more young pacers into the team.

"We just sort of said, 'Look, I think it's time for us to move on.' We're coming to a stage now where we've got to start looking towards the future… people now need the opportunity to learn how to bowl with that new ball, to go through a day's worth of Test cricket and then realise they've got to back it up the next day. Now's the time that people have to start learning that,” Key said.

Anderson represented England in 187 official Test matches where he bagged 700 wickets. Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan is at the top of the all-time chart with 800 wickets from 133 Tests, followed by Australia spin legend Shane Warne (708).