James Anderson to retire following England’s first Test against West Indies at Lord’s

London: England’s veteran fast-bowler James Anderson has announced he will retire from international cricket after the first Test of their upcoming home summer against West Indies at Lord’s, starting on July 10.

Anderson, 41, became the third bowler after Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan to reach the landmark of 700 Test wickets – the most by any fast bowler – earlier this year during England’s fifth and final match of their India tour at Dharamshala.

But reports emerged in various sections of the British media on Friday that Brendon McCullum, England’s Test coach, has asked for Anderson, the country’s leading wicket-taker in Tests, to retire to build a team for the future, especially with Ashes happening in 2025-26.

“Hi everyone. Just a note to say that the first Test of the summer at Lord’s will be my last Test. It’s been an incredible 20 years representing my country, playing the game I’ve loved since I was a kid.”

“I’m going to miss walking out for England so much. But I know the time is right to step aside and let others realise their dreams just like I got to because there is no greater feeling,” said Anderson in his Instagram post on Saturday.

Anderson made his Test debut against Zimbabwe in 2003 and has earned 187 caps so far in the format, which is also an England record. He sits in second position on the all-time list of Test appearances behind only the legendary batter Sachin Tendulkar, who played 200 Tests for India.

“I couldn’t have done it without the love and support of Daniella, Lola, Ruby and my parents. A huge thank you to them. Also, thank you to the players and coaches who have made this the best job in the world.”

“I’m excited for the new challenges that lie ahead, as well as filling my days with even more golf. Thank you to everyone who has supported me over the years, it’s always meant a lot, even if my face often doesn’t show it. See you at the Test, Go well, Jimmy,” he added.

Anderson also played 194 ODIs and 19 T20Is for England but became a Test-match specialist fast-bowler in 2015. Anderson had been in patchy form during last year’s Ashes, taking only five wickets from four games, following which he signed a new one-year central contract in October 2023.

On this year’s Test tour of India, which England lost 4-1, Anderson picked 10 wickets from four matches. It is not clear whether Anderson will continue to play for his county side Lancashire.

“I don’t think we’ll ever see a bowler to match Jimmy again. It has been an honour as an England fan to watch him, and to marvel at his skill with the ball. To still be bowling at the top of his game at 41 is remarkable, and he is a true inspiration and role model for peers and younger generations alike,” said Richard Thompson, ECB Chairman.

“His final Test promises to be an emotional one and having been there for his first Test in 2003, it will be an honour to watch his final one at Lord’s in July. English cricket owes Jimmy Anderson a send-off like no other,” said Thompson.

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