Image courtesy of: Zimbio
The Pavilion End at Old Trafford in Manchester will be renamed the James Anderson End in honour of the England pace bowler.
Anderson, who is England’s leading wicket-taker in Test cricket, will be commemorated in a presentation by Lancashire chairman David Hodgkiss just prior to the fourth Test against South Africa on Friday.
“I’m blown away, really, by the gesture from the club,” Anderson said. “I can’t quite believe it has happened. It is something that usually happens when people have stopped playing or are further down the line. So to have this happen when I’m still playing and potentially bowling from that end in the game is a bit surreal.
“It is just a huge honour, especially because of the link I have with this club and the love I have for the club. I’ve been here for 15 years and longer than that if you count the years I’ve been supporting the club.
“I don’t like looking back on my career too much because I am still playing and I still have things I want to achieve, personally and with this team. I’m very grateful that I have got this far in my career but I don’t want to dwell on it right now. In years to come, I’m sure I’ll look back with great fondness but right now I still have things to achieve.
“I’ve felt really good in this series. I’m happy I’ve stayed fit and bowled well through the series. Barring me slipping in the shower or a back spasm overnight, I’ll have played all four games. For me, that’s a positive thing. I’ve had a couple of injuries over the last 12-18 months, so staying fit is a priority. Also, bowling well is another thing that is going to help me stay in the side and help this side win games.”
Anderson is just 20 wickets away from becoming the sixth bowler in the history of the sport to take 500 Test wickets, but the one thing the 35-year-old has still not managed to accomplish in his illustrious career is to claim a five-wicket haul at his home ground of Old Trafford.
“It’s not always been a great ground for me with England, but it would be nice if I can get on that board,” he said. “In years to come, I’m sure I’ll look back (at this) with great fondness – but right now I still have things to achieve, personally and with this team.
“I’d like to win the Ashes again. I think this team can achieve great things in the next couple of years, and I’d like to be around to be a part of it and help the team improve.
“For me, that’s what keeps me going and keeps me hungry to keep playing the game.”
However, there will be concerns about Anderson’s workload going forward since as he missed parts of the previous summer and winter with a shoulder injury.
With a three-Test series against the West Indies to follow after the conclusion of the four-Test series against South Africa, Anderson has made it clear that he will try to feature in all the Test matches this summer, especially since England will be travelling to Australia for the Ashes later this year.
This comes as music to England captain Joe Root’s ears, who said: “He is as good as ever. He brings so much to this dressing room, his experience. What you see out in the middle and the performances he has produced are exceptional.
“The way he works with the other bowlers and the way they toss ideas around out in the field makes my life a lot easier. To have someone like that to go to when you are under the pump, when you want someone to change the game, is invaluable.”