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Anderson open to returning through the white-ball route when cricket resumes

Anderson white-ball
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

The ongoing suspension of all mainstream cricket hasn’t dimmed the hopes of veteran fast bowler James Anderson, who still wishes to resume his playing career, even opening up to the possibility of featuring in white-ball cricket again.

“I’ve not actually thought about never playing cricket again,” Anderson said on Thursday. “I feel like we will play again and I will play again at some stage.”

ECB have currently suspended county cricket till May 28, but the revised start also looks increasingly unlikely, given the spread of the Covid-19 global pandemic since the announcement. Anderson, who last played a competitive game in January, during England’s tour of South Africa, will turn 38 in July.

For those in the twilight of their career, this long stretch of no cricket could spell a complete end – 42-year-old Gareth Batty, for instance, admitted that he doesn’t see himself playing the game again. Anderson, however, is as hopeful as ever.

“I’m still hungry to play, I’ve still got ambitions to play for England,” he said. “So I think the fact I’ve been able to do this for a long time and I get to play a sport as a job means when I do get to do that again, I’m really going to cherish it and enjoy every single moment of it.”

Anderson, whose 584 wickets in 151 games is a Test record for a fast bowler, did not travel to Sri Lanka after breaking his rib during the South Africa series. Given the truncated season, ECB might prioritise white-ball tournaments such as The Hundred and the T20 Blast; a cricket-hungry Anderson doesn’t mind featuring in limited-overs cricket, if it gives him the opportunity to play. Currently, Anderson doesn’t have a Hundred contract, but is a part of Manchester Originals in an ambassadorial capacity.

“I want to be playing cricket and if that is the only cricket going on, if it’s the Hundred or the T20 Blast, I’d love to be involved in that. If there wasn’t any red-ball cricket this summer, it would be a long, long time for me to be ticking over in the nets.”

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