Anderson grateful to West Indies for committing to England Tests

By Sports Desk June 11, 2020

James Anderson has thanked West Indies for taking the "scary decision" to play a Test series in England.

Like much of the global sporting calendar, the English cricket season has been ravaged by the coronavirus crisis, with no competitive action able to take place so far.

England will play West Indies in three matches behind closed doors next month, with the tourists based at Old Trafford.

The Manchester ground will host the second and third games as a bio-secure venue, after the Ageas Bowl in Southampton stages the opener.

It is hoped a Test series against Pakistan can take place in August, with the possibility of limited-overs engagements against the same opponents, Australia and Ireland on the schedule.

The United Kingdom has suffered more COVID-19 deaths than any other country in Europe, while the Caribbean has been minimally impacted by the virus compared to other parts of the world.

Anderson is not treating West Indies' opting to help get the international game back up and running lightly.

"From our point of view we're certainly very grateful that the West Indies are coming over here," he said.

"Obviously, with what's going on in the world, I imagine it's a scary decision for a lot of them, for all of them to make the journey over so we're hugely grateful.

"It's great for the game. It's brilliant that we are closing in on getting some Test cricket played after a decent lay-off."

Anderson, England's all-time Test wicket-taker with 584 victims, has managed to be creative in order to maintain his fitness during lockdown and in training with Lancashire.

The 37-year-old suffered injury setbacks when facing Australia and South Africa and feels Joe Root might look to rotate his battery of seam bowlers on home soil.

"Training has been going well," he said. "I've managed to tick over quite well during lockdown.

"I've luckily got enough space to fit half of my run-up in on my drive, so I've been ticking over with my bowling. When I came back to training with Lancashire I've not been going in cold.

"I felt like I hit the ground running pretty well. I've been enjoying being back."

Anderson added: "Obviously there are concerns about the fact we are not going to have had any competitive cricket before that first Test match and then we've got three Test matches in quick succession.

"So there are obviously things that we need to look at ahead of that in terms of workloads and whether we play all three as bowlers or whether we rotate.

"I'm sure the medical staff and the coaches are doing their due diligence on that; that's something we'll have to look at in a few weeks' time.

"But at the moment I'm enjoying myself, I'm enjoying being back and feeling really good."

Related items

  • It’s what he does - Phil Simmons has high praise for Holder’s tenacity It’s what he does - Phil Simmons has high praise for Holder’s tenacity

    West Indies head coach Phil Simmons believes his captain, Jason Holder’s, 1-43, during England’s second innings was as important as any bowling feats throughout the fourth day.

    The West Indies will need just two wickets tomorrow and attempt to minimize the 170-run lead the hosts have after they were restricted to 284-8.

    The West Indies, leading England by 99 runs at the Ageas Bowl at the beginning of Saturday, were pushed back, as openers Rory Burns, 42, and Dom Sibley, 50, whittled down that lead.

    After lunch, things got worse for the West Indies, who had to remain patient as Zak Crawley, 76, and stand-in skipper Ben Stokes, 46, threatened to take the game away from them, pushing England’s lead in the match to 135 before the latter was removed by a fine piece of bowling from Holder.

    Holder, for the second time, turned Stokes around after just changing the field to include two gullies and had him caught by Shai Hope.

    It’s what he does. He comes back and puts in the big spells for the team.

    Simmons was speaking at the end of day four, highlighting what was a pivotal moment in the West Indies’ second stint on the field.

    England then lost five wickets for 35 runs, as Shannon Gabriel, 3-62, and Alzarri Joseph, 2-40, reduced England to 284-8, a lead of 170.

    “That’s the way he leads this team and I didn’t expect anything different,” said Simmons.

    “He was bowling for a while and you expected him to change but he wanted to make that breakthrough for the team.”

  • ‘Normal cricket’ to get the Windies over the line – Phil Simmons ‘Normal cricket’ to get the Windies over the line – Phil Simmons

    West Indies head coach Phil Simmons believes if the West Indies play their normal cricket, they will take a 1-0 #RaiseTheBat series lead to Old Trafford, Manchester after their fourth-day exploits on Saturday.

    The West Indies, leading England by 99 runs at the Ageas Bowl at the beginning of Saturday, were pushed back, as openers Rory Burns, 42, and Dom Sibley, 50, whittled down that lead.

    After lunch, things got worse for the West Indies, who had to remain patient as Zak Crawley, 76, and stand-in skipper Ben Stokes, 46, threatened to take the game away from them, pushing England’s lead in the match to 135 before the latter was removed by a fine piece of bowling from Jason Holder.

    England then lost five wickets for 35 runs, as Shannon Gabriel, 3-62, and Alzarri Joseph, 2-40, reduced England to 284-8, a lead of 170.

    With just two wickets needed on tomorrow’s final day, the West Indies are hoping not to have to chase too many and to be given the time to do it.  

    All you can do is get the remaining wickets for as little runs as possible and then bat normally,” said Simmons at the end of day four.

    “If we bat for five hours tomorrow to chase 180-190 then it is a normal batting day,” he said.

    Simmons is wary of what it may be like batting on a final-day Ageas Bowl pitch though.

    All the batsmen have called the pitch ‘dry’, which could make it particularly difficult on the final day of a Test match.

    “It’s not a chase where you have to go at the bowling. We hope that in the morning, whatever roller is used, will flatten out the wicket so we can get a good start,” said Simmons.

    According to the former West Indies opening batsman-turned-allrounder, the West Indies can take heart from the way they batted in the first innings and that it should give them confidence headed into the final day.

    “I think the confidence from the way we batted, the attitude towards batting in the first innings, is going to be a huge plus for us, batting in the second innings. Whether it be 170 or 190 it is going to be the same attitude that you will need to chase it.”

  • West Indies form partnership with Lifebuoy for England tour West Indies form partnership with Lifebuoy for England tour

    Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the West Indies team today announced a new partnership with Lifebuoy, the world’s number one selling hygiene soap, for their ongoing Sandals Tour of England. The series started last Wednesday, July 8, as West Indies faced England in the opening match at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton.

    Lifebuoy will be working with the West Indies by providing hand hygiene products to the full touring party. The brand will also be capturing content with the squad to help champion the cause for better health through hygiene. Players and support staff will take part in a number of ‘myth-busting’ challenges as well as light-hearted educational videos, to help motivate fans around the world to improve their hygiene behaviour.

    Kartik Chandrasekar, Global Vice President of Lifebuoy, said: “Lifebuoy has always been a brand that has looked to support people in their quest for better personal hygiene. We are incredibly proud to be partnering with such an iconic team as the West Indies, who are the first international sports team to travel to the UK since the country was placed in lockdown earlier this year."

    Dominic Warne, Commercial Director of Cricket West Indies said: “CWI are delighted to announce this new partnership with Lifebuoy where our cricketers will be delivering engaging and fun content as part of a serious mission to improve hygiene and health. The West Indies are loved and followed around the world, and we’re looking forward to joining forces with Lifebuoy to improve hygiene behaviour as fans tune in from around the world to follow this historic Test Series."

    West Indies’ Tour of England consists of a three-match Test Series, played behind closed doors. The #RaisetheBat Series is part of the ICC World Test Championship which concludes in 2021. The First Test starts at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton on July 8 before the second (July 16-20) and third (July 24-28) Tests will be played at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester. Players have been quarantined and entered a ‘bio-secure bubble’ ahead of the matches, with temperature checks and COVID-19 testing taking place on a regular basis.

    To join the conversation, watch any of Lifebuoy’s exclusive content with the West Indies team search ‘Lifebuoy Global’ on YouTube, or follow @lifebuoysoap on Twitter and Instagram.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.