Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon has said that he was "pretty surprised" when he found out that England great James Anderson would retire after their first Test of the summer against West Indies at Lord's.

Anderson announced that he will retire after the West Indies Test at Lord's following talks with the England hierarchy where they expressed a desire to look to the future, with a five-match home series against India and an away Ashes tour coming up next year.

Lyon, a longtime opponent in Ashes contests, said the news that the 41-year-old seamer would retire from England duty this summer surprised him.

"My care factor for England is pretty low, but I was pretty surprised when I did read that they tapped him on the shoulder," said Lyon on BBC Radio 5 Live. "I look at James and what he's been able to do for England cricket, it's pretty remarkable. This is just my opinion - I still think he would be England's best bowler."

Lyon has spent the opening months of the season turning out for Anderson's county side, Lancashire. The pair are yet to take the field together, though, with Anderson set to get his first run out of the season against Kent at Canterbury in late June.

The timing of Anderson's retirement has split opinion. Anderson had a decent but unspectacular recent tour of India in early 2024, taking 10 wickets at 33.50, but only 2.5 wickets were Test – suggesting that while Anderson was still able to fulfil a containing role, his ultimate impact on the series was relatively limited.

That followed an ineffectual home Ashes series against Lyon's Australia where Anderson averaged more than 85 with the ball across four Tests. His record in second innings has been a cause for concern for some time. Going back to the start of 2021 summer, Anderson averages 50 with the ball in the second innings of home Tests.

To watch Lancashire this summer in premium comfort, follow this link to buy tickets through Seat Unique.

Subscribe to the Wisden Cricket YouTube channel for post-match analysis, player interviews, and much more.