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James Anderson to have Old Trafford Cricket Ground pavilion named after him

The Pavilion End at Old Trafford cricket ground in Manchester will now be known officially as The James Anderson End in recognition of England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker

cricket Updated: Aug 04, 2017 14:43 IST
Devarchit Varma
Devarchit Varma
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
James Anderson,Lancashire County,Old Trafford
England's James Anderson will have the Pavilion End named after him at the Old Trafford cricket ground in Manchester. (AFP)

The Lancashire Cricket Club have renamed the Pavilion End at Old Trafford cricket ground in honour of James Anderson, the highest wicket-taker for England in Test cricket. The honour is certainly one of the biggest achievements in the career for the right-arm pacer, who is regarded as arguably the best seam and swing bowlers in English conditions. (ENG vs SA 4TH TEST LIVE SCORES)

James Anderson needs only 20 more scalps to become first Englishman to achieve the feat of claiming 500 Test wickets — a feat that is expected to be completed during this English summer when they are playing South Africa and then the West Indies.

According to ESPNCricinfo, Lancashire chairman David Hodgkiss is set to make a presentation to the 35-year-old bowler, who has played 125 Tests for England, taking a record 480 wickets, on Friday as the hosts take field for the fourth and final Test against South Africa.

Anderson hopes to see his family at the ground to be getting this ‘amazing honour’.

“I’m blown away, really, by the gesture from the club,” Anderson said. “I can’t quite believe it has happened. It is something that usually happens when people have stopped playing or are further down the line. So to have this happen when I’m still playing and potentially bowling from that end in the game is a bit surreal.

“It is just a huge honour, especially because of the link I have with this club and the love I have for the club. I’ve been here for 15 years and longer than that if you count the years I’ve been supporting the club,” he added.

Miles to go, says James Anderson

The 35-year-old Anderson, who played a key role for England in winning the Ashes 2010-11 Down Under and in their ascend to the world No. 1 rankings in mid 2011, says that he still has a lot left to achieve.

“I don’t like looking back on my career too much because I am still playing and I still have things I want to achieve, personally and with this team. I’m very grateful that I have got this far in my career but I don’t want to dwell on it right now. In years to come, I’m sure I’ll look back with great fondness but right now I still have things to achieve,” he said.

Like any other fast bowler, Anderson too has struggled for fitness. In their tour of India last year when England were hammered 0-4 in a five-Test series, Anderson featured in only three Tests. However, against South Africa in the ongoing four-Test affair Anderson has managed to play in all games.

He said, “I’ve felt really good in this series. I’m happy I’ve stayed fit and bowled well through the series. Barring me slipping in the shower or a back spasm overnight, I’ll have played all four games.

“For me, that’s a positive thing. I’ve had a couple of injuries over the last 12-18 months, so staying fit is a priority. Also, bowling well is another thing that is going to help me stay in the side and help this side win games.”

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 07: England bowler James Anderson celebrates after taking the wicket of Younis Khan during day 5 of the 3rd Investec Test match between England and Pakistan at Edgbaston on August 7, 2016 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Root applauds Anderson

Joe Root, who began his England captaincy tenure with this series, says Anderson’s presence makes life easier for many other bowlers.

England lead the series 2-1 with both the teams registering big victories so far, as the home side edged ahead once again with a 239-run victory at The Oval.

“He is as good as ever. He brings so much to this dressing room, his experience. What you see out in the middle and the performances he has produced are exceptional. The way he works with the other bowlers and the way they toss ideas around out in the field makes my life a lot easier.

“To have someone like that to go to when you are under the pump, when you want someone to change the game, is invaluable,” Root said.

First Published: Aug 04, 2017 14:10 IST