England moving on from Anderson to boost Ashes hopes, says Stokes

By Sports Desk July 09, 2024

England's decision to move on from James Anderson was made with the aim of preparing a new generation of bowlers for the next Ashes series, says Ben Stokes. 

Anderson – England's all-time leading wicket-taker with 700 in 187 red-ball matches – will play his final Test against West Indies at Lord's this week.

The 41-year-old is not going out on his own terms, insisting on Monday that he is bowling as well as he ever has but saying he has been forced to "make peace" with the decision.

Gus Atkinson will make his Test debut against the Windies, while Dillon Pennington and Matthew Potts are competing to replace Anderson when the three-match series moves to Nottingham.

England's revamp of their bowling attack comes after they failed to reclaim the Ashes on home soil last year, drawing a rain-affected series 2-2. 

They head down under for the next edition in 2025-26, and Stokes says they will use the intervening time to blood a new generation of talent.

"You look at how long it's been since we've played a Test match, I think it's been five months," England's red-ball captain told reporters on Tuesday. 

"When you have a lot of time off, you've got a lot of time to think about how you can take the team forward.

"I've been captain for two years, so it's about progressing this team. Especially for the first two years, we've been very focused on the here and now of what we need to do.

"But for me, I want to be able to implement stuff to push this team as far as they can go, not only as a collective but also as individuals.

"If you look at where we've got to go in 18 months' time, to Australia… we want to win that urn back.

"We've got an incredibly talented and exciting group of bowlers coming through at the moment, so giving them the experience of playing international cricket, getting Test matches under their belt, will put us in a much stronger position to win the Ashes."

Anderson's farewell comes at a venue where he has taken 119 Test wickets, the second-most of any player at a particular venue after Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo (166).


"He's an amazing bowler. There's no doubt that he could still go out there and play Test cricket, because he is good enough," Stokes said of Anderson. 

"But when we spoke with Jimmy, we laid it out with him and gave him our reasons, and he totally understood it.

"This week will all be about Jimmy, and rightly so, but I can tell you his main focus is about going out there, taking wickets and trying to win this game for England."

Related items

  • Watkins lauds 'generational talent' Yamal as England prepare for Spain test Watkins lauds 'generational talent' Yamal as England prepare for Spain test

    Ollie Watkins labelled Spain's Lamine Yamal as a "generational talent" ahead of England's clash with La Roja in the Euro 2024 final on Sunday. 

    Yamal played a key role in Spain reaching their first major tournament final since 2012, scoring a stunner to cancel out Randal Kolo Muani's opener before Dani Olmo's winner four minutes later. 

    The teenager has had 13 shot involvements following a ball carry at Euro 2024 (six shots, seven chances created), at least three more than any other player.

    Having beaten Pele's record in becoming the youngest player to score at a major tournament, more history beckons for Yamal in Berlin. 

    A day after his 17th birthday, the Barcelona forward could be the youngest player to feature in a World Cup or European Championship final, again, beating Pele's record from the 1958 World Cup (17y 249d).

    “Everyone's seen what he can do. It's not often that you are scoring a goal against France in the top corner in the semi-final of the Euros when you're 16," Watkins said.

    "He’s got the world at his feet and is miles ahead of me when I was 16 or 17.”

    England left it late to secure their place in their first major tournament final on foreign soil, with Watkins striking the deciding blow against the Netherlands. 

    The Three Lions' hopes of reaching back-to-back European Championship finals were dented early on when Xavi Simons fired beyond Jordan Pickford from distance. 

    However, Harry Kane levelled from the spot, before Watkins emerged from the bench to fire Gareth Southgate's side into the tournament's showpiece game. 

    Watkins was under no illusions about the difficulty awaiting his side in Berlin, acknowledging Spain's run to the final where they have beaten Italy, Germany and France.

    “They’ve had to come through a harder journey than us playing against Italy, Germany and France - the so-called bigger teams - and I feel like they have been probably the best team of the competition so far," he said.

    “The wingers for Spain are very dynamic, young, full of confidence and direct but also across our team, we have goals from everywhere and world class talent, so it's going to be a very exciting match.

    "I can't wait to watch it and be a part of it. And hopefully we can get the get the job done."

    Like many England fans, Watkins has had his fourth international goal from their semi-final win over the Netherlands on repeat. 

    "I watched it quite a few times, when I got back to camp," said Watkins. "I was manifesting it, a lot has led up to it.

    "A good friend said he felt like I would score in the Euros final, I did it a match before, but you never know, I might be saving another one for the final."

  • Wimbledon: Alcaraz confident of double Spain success ahead of Euro 2024 final Wimbledon: Alcaraz confident of double Spain success ahead of Euro 2024 final

    Carlos Alcaraz is confident that Sunday will be a good day for the people of Spain as he prepares to defend his Wimbledon crown. 

    Alcaraz became just the second Spaniard after Rafael Nadal to reach multiple singles finals at Wimbledon following his 6-7 (1-7) 6-3 6-4 6-4 win on Centre Court. 

    The 21-year-old's match against either Novak Djokovic will take place hours before Spain face England in the Euro 2024 final in Berlin. 

    "I feel like I am not new anymore. I know how I feel before the final I have been in this position before - I will try to do the things that I didn't do last year and be better," Alcaraz told Annabel Croft in his post-match interview. 

    "I will also try the things that went well - it will be a good day for Spanish people as well!"

    The world number three went on to jokingly reference the European Championship final, saying: "I didn't say Spain was going to win."

    But Alcaraz's quest for a fourth grand slam title was anything but straightforward, coming from a set down to edge a classic against Medvedev.

    In a game that saw nine break points converted (Alcaraz six, Medvedev three), Alcaraz acknowledged the difficulties he faced in SW19. 

    "I tried to play long rallies and tried to play to the net as much as I can. I tried to not play his game," Alcaraz said. 

    "There were a few points that were really long rallies, but I tried to put my own game [on the match]. It was difficult to break the wall!

    "Different conditions, but happy with my performance today. He was dominating the match and playing great tennis with his serves. It was difficult for me and he tried to pull out all the shots."

  • Guyana, Leewards to face off in final of CWI Rising Stars Under-19 Women’s T20 Championship on Saturday Guyana, Leewards to face off in final of CWI Rising Stars Under-19 Women’s T20 Championship on Saturday

    Guyana and the Leeward Islands will contest the CWI Rising Stars Under-19 Women’s T20 Championship at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy on Saturday after the conclusion of the tournament’s fifth round on Thursday.

    At the same venue on Thursday, the Leewards secured a seven-run win over Jamaica via the DLS method.

    The Leewards first posted 124-6 from their 20 overs after being put in to bat by the Jamaicans. Captain Jahzara Claxton led the way with 29 while Sainvani Kambalapalli made 22 and Kimberley Anthony made 20.

    Brianna Plummer, Abigail Bryce and Aneisha Miller each took two wickets for Jamaica.  

    At the time of the rain delay, Jamaica were 55-3 off 10.4 overs, seven runs short of the DLS par score.

    At the Sir Frank Worrell Memorial Ground, Guyana, who booked their spot in the final thanks to wins in the first four rounds, suffered a narrow two-wicket loss to the Windward Islands in round five.

    The Guyanese were bundled out for just 60 in 18 overs after winning the toss. Nesha Alexander was the pick of the Windwards bowlers with 4-8 from her four overs while Selena Ross took 3-8 off three overs in support.

    The Windwards then hade a tough time of it in their chase, needing 18.3 overs to reach 61-8.

    Denella Creese led the way with 25 as Trisha Hardat and Nyia Latchman tried their best with the ball for Guyana.

    Hardat took 2-2 from two overs while Latchman took 2-6 from her four overs.

    The other round five fixture saw Barbados defeat Trinidad & Tobago by 12 runs via the DLS method at the Diego Martin Sports Complex.

    Barbados made 100-5 from their 20 overs after being put in to bat. Asabi Callender led the way with 40 while Naijanni Cumberbatch made 30* against 2-9 off four overs from Kenika Cassar and 2-13 off three overs from Brianna Harricharan.

    Trinidad & Tobago’s target was then revised to 95 off 18 overs due to rain.

    They lost wickets early and never recovered, eventually being restricted to 82-9 off 18 overs.

    Erin Deane starred with 4-12 from her four overs while Cumberbatch and Nia Wood took 2-14, each.

    Also on Saturday, Trinidad and Tobago will face the Windward Islands in the third-place playoff at the Sir Frank Worrell Memorial Ground while Jamaica will face Barbados in the fifth-place playoff at the Diego Martin Sports Complex.


© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.