James Anderson says break may extend career

England fast bowler James Anderson believes the enforced break from cricket due to the coronavirus pandemic could prolong his career.

Anderson, 37, is part of a 55-player group that has been asked to return to training, with the first Test against West Indies set to start on 8 July.

Anderson has regained full fitness after picking up a rib injury on England’s winter tour of South Africa.

“It could just add on a year or two at the end of my career,” said Anderson.

The Lancashire paceman, who is England’s all-time leading wicket-taker in Test cricket, has only bowled 74 overs since August after missing large parts of last summer’s Ashes and the winter tours of New Zealand and South Africa through injury.

He has been bowling in the nets at Old Trafford with social distancing measures in place.

Speaking on the latest Tailenders podcast, Anderson said: “I’ve really enjoyed being back and as odd as it is just bowling into a net, with not many people around, it’s still nice to be back and playing cricket.

“I bring all the kit myself – my bands and med balls to warm-up with – and I’ve got my own cricket balls which I don’t normally have.

“I have a quick lap round the outfield and then straight into the nets. I bowl a few overs and then get straight back in the car and go home.”

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is expected to announce a revamped summer schedule this week.

“I got up to speed quite quickly. I’m off my full run up and I feel like I’m ready to play now,” Anderson said. “I need to just calm down a bit.

“As players you are working towards the 8 July date as if it’s going to happen but obviously each stage has to be ticked off by the government, most importantly, and secondly the ECB.”

The series will take place behind closed doors and Anderson, like team-mate Jofra Archer, supports the idea of playing artificial crowd noise at the games.

“I’ve been watching the rugby league in Australia and I actually thought there was a crowd watching because they were playing crowd noise through the speaker in the stadium,” Anderson said.

“I actually thought it worked. It was nice to have that sort of atmosphere even though there was no-one there.” (BBC Sports)

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