James Anderson urges youngsters to embrace red-ball cricket

James Anderson is all set to bid farewell to international cricket after playing the first Test of the three-match series between England and the West Indies, starting on Wednesday, July 10, at Lord’s, London. Ahead of his retirement, the legendary cricketer urged the next generation of players to prioritize Test cricket instead of “chasing the dollar”.

Anderson shortened his white-ball career to extend his journey in the game’s longest format. The Lord’s Test will be his 188th appearance for the Three Lions in the format. Only Sachin Tendulkar (200) has played more Tests than him. The 41-year-old has scalped 700 Test wickets and is only behind Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne in the list of leading wicket-takers in the format.

When Anderson made his international debut in 2002, Test cricket was the most important format for cricketers. However, priorities have changed for a lot of cricketers these days with the advent of T20 cricket, especially the cash-rich franchise leagues around the world. Fast bowlers, especially, are paid handsomely for a lighter workload compared to Test cricket. However, Anderson believes that red-ball cricket shaped him as a person and the fulfillment he gets from working throughout the day is unparalleled.

“Test cricket is literally the reason that I am the person that I am. It has taught me so many lessons through the years, built my resilience to a lot of things. I think the fulfilment you get from putting in a shift in a day’s cricket is different to anything else you can do in the game,” Anderson was quoted as saying by France 24.

I would never get same sort of joy or fulfilment from taking wickets that are caught on boundary: Anderson

Furthermore, James Anderson also revealed his thoughts on the rise of T20 cricket and its impact on young cricketers. the legendary pacer reflected on the financial strength the various T20 leagues around the world bring. However, being a true fan of the game, he revealed that the true joy of cricket can only be found by making the batters clueless by sheer skills rather than having them caught on the boundary ropes which mostly happens in the modern style of T20 Cricket.

“I know you can earn a lot of money from bowling four overs (in T20 cricket), but for me personally, I would never get the same sort of joy or fulfilment from taking wickets that are caught on the boundary compared to really giving a batter a working-over and figure someone out. I just hope there are enough kids and young professionals out there who still want that to be the case, rather than going chasing the dollar,” the Lancashire pacer added.