James Anderson and Nathan Lyon

Nathan Lyon expressed his surprise at England letting James Anderson go after the Lord’s Test match against the West Indies.

Anderson makes a successful return to county cricket

Playing in his first match of the 2024 County Championship, at Southport, James Anderson scythed through the Nottinghamshire top order after Lancashire declared their first innings on 353-9.

Anderson took the first six wickets to reduce Nottinghamshire to 40-6. They recovered to 126, but Anderson returned to take another wicket and finish with 7-35, his second-best figures in first-class cricket. 

Anderson will play the final Test of his illustrious career against the West Indies, at Lord’s from July 10. After the day’s cricket, Nathan Lyon, Lancashire’s overseas professional for the summer who has played against him in many an Ashes contest over the years, spoke to BBC Lancashire Cricket about his adversary.

“Seeing Jimmy doing what he was doing this morning was pretty amazing to witness,” recalled Lyon. “I’ve obviously seen it on the other side when I’m not ­standing there saying ‘come on Jimmy.’ 

"It feels a little bit sick me saying ‘come on Jimmy’ and him saying ‘nice, Gary’, but that’s the beauty of county cricket, to come over here and play with arguably the greatest fast bowler to play the game has been pretty special.”

Lyon: Anderson probably the best to ever play the game

Lyon also admitted to having hoped to play alongside Anderson some day. “The chance to bowl in partnership with Jimmy” was, in fact, one of the biggest “draw cards” when he accepted the Lancashire contract.

“There’s no disrespect to the other bowlers in this game, but you can see the class which he brings to the table,” continued Lyon. “The extra zip off the wicket, the extra bounce, his skillset ... his ability to go both ways, the wobble seam, so it was pretty cool to be at mid-off and actually have him tell me what he was doing.”

Lyon also expressed his surprise at England’s decision to look past Anderson: “I am very surprised that England have tapped him on the shoulder and said one more Test and that’s it. He’s world class, probably the best to ever play the game as a fast bowler and his skillset, especially in England, is remarkable.”

Anderson will retire as the leading wicket-taker among fast bowlers in the history of Test cricket. 

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