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Jimmy Anderson: England cricket’s finest bowler

Life starts at 40? It started way before that for James Michael Anderson, the England international’s remarkable career continues to reach new heights. The fast bowler overtook Australia’s Pat Cummins and India’s Ravinchandran Ashwin on Wednesday in the Men’s Test rankings. 

Its July 1982, a year on from Lord Ian Botham’s heroics at Headingley a new England star was born over the Pennines. Arise Jimmy Anderson, after a growth spurt by the age of 17 Anderson was one of the fastest bowlers in the Lancashire league. He represented the red rose for the first time in 2000 before making his Test debut at the home of cricket against Zimbabwe in 2003. The Barmy Army soon noticed this talented young kid with an eye-catching hairstyle and unique bowling action unfolding before their eyes.

It wasn’t until 2007 and the arrival of Peter Moores until Anderson cemented his spot in the bowling attack. The old guard of Jones,Harmison and Flintoff were constantly being ripped apart due to injuries, Swann, Broad and Anderson are lurking waiting to put on another memorable display in the 2009 Ashes. One of the most memorable moments in Jimmy’s career actually came with bat in hand. The most stressful 69 deliveries an England fan has ever experienced ended in relief as Anderson and Monty Panesar saw off the fierce Australian attack in Cardiff.

By the time England travelled to the old enemy’s backyard, Anderson added the wobble seam delivery to his armoury hoping to dismantle the Aussies. Despite the usual intimidating Australian antics, England and Anderson gave them their worst Boxing Day imaginable and jetted off with the little urn back home. 

For many England and cricket fans in general, Anderson has been an iconic figure in the game for two decades now. The weather conditions are overcast, England need a wicket. Throw the ball to Lancastrian. With the Barmy Army and Jimmy swinging the ball all over the shop England can’t be contained. An outcome we’ve seen many times, 682 to be precise.

In 2015 Jimmy Anderson finally broken Lord Ian Botham’s England record of 383 Test wickets after dismissing West Indies’ Marlon Samuels and Dinesh Ramdin on the final day of the first Test in Antigua. 

The Covid19 pandemic altered sports for fans and players alike throwing up situations we’ve never seen before. One of the strangest seeing Broad and Anderson dropped for England’s tour of the Caribbean, a mistake Ben Stokes assured fans would not happen under his tenure. 

Like his wickets, the records have been flowing for many years causing nightmares for batters around the World. His recent recognition seeing ranking him as number one Test bowler for the sixth time in his career is nothing short of remarkable given his age. 

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