England legend James Anderson is eager to end his career on a positive note, while West Indies aim to disrupt his farewell

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Jimmy Anderson gestures in the match

Whether James Anderson takes several West Indies wickets for England in the first test at Lord’s starting Wednesday doesn’t matter much.

This match marks Anderson’s 188th and final test appearance for England, after which he will transition into the role of fast-bowling mentor for the team.

The decision to retire him was communicated by England managing director Rob Key, coach Brendon McCullum, and captain Ben Stokes during a meeting at a Manchester hotel in April. They informed him that he wouldn’t be part of their plans for the 2025-26 Ashes series in Australia.

This decision came a month after Anderson returned from India, where he took 10 wickets with an average of 33.50. Despite England losing the series 4-1, Anderson achieved a milestone by becoming the first seamer in history to claim 700 test wickets on the final morning of the last test in Dharamsala.

Reflecting on the news from Key, McCullum, and Stokes this week, Anderson mentioned feeling surprisingly calm. He understood their reasoning, stating, “I’ve come to terms with it.”

James Anderson gestures to the fans after taking 700 wickets

Anderson prepared for his final test by demonstrating his skill last week in his first appearance for Lancashire in the English County Championship. He took 7-35, the best bowling figures in the competition.

His illustrious 21-year test career will come full circle at Lord’s, where he made his debut against Zimbabwe in 2003. Lord’s also witnessed Anderson’s career-best figures of 7-42 against the West Indies in 2017.

As one chapter ends with Anderson’s retirement, new ones may begin. Surrey seamer Gus Atkinson and wicketkeeper Jamie Smith will make their test debuts. Both represented England in white-ball cricket last year, with Atkinson participating in the ODI World Cup. Smith replaces Jonny Bairstow, who has been left out after playing 100 tests.

Spinner Jack Leach has been replaced by Shoaib Bashir, who will make his home test debut after claiming 17 wickets in India. Chris Woakes returns to the test squad for the first time since being named player of the series in the Ashes last summer.


By Michael Smith

Hi. Hailing from Manila, I am an avid consumer of anime, gaming, football and professional wrestling. You can mostly find me either writing articles, binging shows or engaged in an engrossing discussion about the said interests.

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