James Anderson retiring from Test cricket shocked Nathan Lyon as the Australian spinner believes England's veteran would still be their best bowler.

England great Anderson will call time to his storied red-ball career when Brendon McCullum's side host West Indies at Lord's, starting on July 10.

The Lancashire bowler leaves the international scene as England's all-time leading wicket-taker in Test cricket, with 700 dismissals in 187 appearances.

His wicket-taking heroics are the most by any pace bowler in Test history, and Anderson's decision came as welcome news to Ashes rival Lyon.

"Obviously, Jimmy Anderson is in the conversation of being the greatest fast bowler of all time," Lyon told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"Good luck to Jimmy and I look forward to playing with him at Lancashire, but I'm glad he won't be coming out to the next Ashes."

Anderson's hand appeared somewhat forced as England started planning for the future, setting their sights on The Ashes in Australia across late 2025 and into 2026.

By the time that Ashes series arrives, Anderson will be 43.

Owing to Anderson's age, England coach McCullum, managing director Rob Key and captain Ben Stokes, want to test the likes of Brydon Carse, Matthew Potts and Gus Atkinson as pace-bowling options.

With Stuart Broad already announcing his retirement after his last outing against Australia, Lyon could not believe England's decision to let Anderson go.

"My care factor for England is pretty low, but I was pretty surprised when I did read that they tapped him on the shoulder," added Lyon.

"I look at James and what he's been able to do for England cricket, it's pretty remarkable.

"This is just my opinion – I still think he would be England's best bowler."

James Anderson acknowledged repeated questioning over his Test future became "draining", as the England great prepares for his final international red-ball outing in July.

England's all-time leading wicket-taker Anderson announced earlier this month that he will end his storied red-ball career after the first Test against West Indies on July 10.

The 41-year-old will require nine wickets in his final Test to surpass Shane Warne's 708 wickets and move second on the all-time dismissals list.

Anderson will be greeted with a rapturous farewell at Lord's, though the Lancashire veteran says speculation over his retirement while still playing was somewhat straining.

He said on the BBC's Tailenders podcast: "There's probably been two or three moments on the field, if the opposition are 500-3, I'll be thinking, 'do I really want to still be doing this?'

"They are fleeting thoughts – nothing that has stuck with me or more than an over.

"I don't know how much of that was me and how much it was the external noise that comes with ageing. For the last six years, or even longer, it's been, 'how long can you go on for?'

"That in itself, certainly for the last couple of years, has been quite draining."

Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum will be tasked with rebuilding an England bowling attack capable of overturning Australia away in the next Ashes series.

That plan for the future seemed to force Anderson's hand into announcing his retirement decision, with speculation building the day before his eventual confirmation followed.

Though content with his decision, Anderson admitted there is still a small part of him wishing to continue.

"Some days I wake up and wish I was not retiring but then 90 per cent of the time, I'm happy with it," he added.

"Not many people in sport get the chance to retire from sport at over 40. I'm happy I've made it this far."

West Indies veteran fast bowler Kemar Roach is setting his sights on ruining James Anderson's farewell Test against the West Indies, expressing confidence in his team's ability to secure a historic away series win against England when the three Test-series bowls off on July 10.

The 41-year-old Anderson, England's most successful bowler, having taken 700 Test wickets in 187 Tests during his illustrious career, recently announced that he will hang up his boots after the first Test against the West Indies.

Roach, who on Monday took 6 for 46 in Surrey's County Championship victory over Warwickshire, believes the West Indies seam attack is poised for success. With teammates Jayden Seales and Jason Holder also in fine form for Sussex and Worcestershire respectively, Roach is optimistic about their chances against England.

"It's a very highly talented and skillful group," Roach told ESPN Cricinfo commented at the Kia Oval. "We've not had the best of times over here in England, so it's more about focusing on us - not what they're going to do for him. He's going to get what he deserves. But it's all about us working hard to get what we deserve, which is a series win over here in England."

Reflecting on Anderson's imminent retirement after the Lord's Test, Roach acknowledged the English bowler's greatness while maintaining a competitive spirit. "He's a great fast bowler, probably one of the greatest," Roach remarked. "First Test match against us… hopefully, we ruin it," he added with a laugh.

Roach expressed confidence in the West Indies' current seam attack, highlighting the emergence of young talents like Shamar Joseph and Jayden Seales alongside seasoned campaigner Alzarri Joseph. "With Shamar and Jayden Seales now - Alzarri as well - they have added a lot of X-factor to the bowling unit," Roach noted. "To have three guys like that in the team, a captain to have that to select, for any given day or any given surface [is great]."

Despite approaching his 36th birthday, Roach's recent performances demonstrate his enduring skill and experience. "I've spent the past two weeks working hard on my balance at the crease," Roach shared. "To have those great days... that's what you want," he added, emphasizing the team's readiness for the challenge ahead.

With the West Indies aiming for their first Test series win in England since 1988, Roach and his teammates are determined to put on a strong showing and create a memorable conclusion to Anderson's illustrious Test career.

James Anderson may be calling time on his Test career in July but the England great says he would be open to a coaching role in future.

England's all-time leading wicket-taker Anderson will end his storied red-ball career after the first Test against West Indies on July 10. 

Anderson's 700 wickets in 187 Tests are the most by any pace bowler in history but the 41-year-old will bow out as Brendon McCullum's England look to plan for the future.

The Lancashire bowler's farewell international appearance will come at Lord's in the first of three Tests against West Indies, though Anderson suggested a move to the backroom staff could be a possibility.

"I feel excited about what the future might hold, whether that is potentially to stick around with the team this summer in a different sort of capacity, it would be nice," Anderson told the BBC's Tailenders podcast.

Reports emerged on Friday that McCullum is planning for the long term as he looks to reshape England's bowling attack, with the announcement confirmed a day later.

England will be looking to build a team capable of claiming back the Ashes in Australia across 2025-26 and Anderson acknowledged that task may have proved too great.

"It was sort of just looking ahead and could a 43-year-old me make the Ashes in 18 months' time and we sort of came to the decision that probably not," he added.

"From my point of view, it feels like a stretch at this stage of my career and from their [England's] point of view there are 15 or so Tests before the Ashes.

"It gives them time to give other guys Test matches and experiences before that. It feels like the right thing for me and the team going forward. It feels like a good time."

Anderson says he will play for Lancashire before his Test farewell at Lord's, though plans remain unclear on his commitment to the county side after that.

"I am not 100 per cent set on what I am going to do next," he continued.

"That will be a conversation down the line and see what they [Lancashire] want to do and if I have the desire and willingness as well."

As for that final time in England whites, Anderson wants to sign off in style.

Ahead of the West Indies meeting, the England bowler is third on the all-time list of Test wicket-takers behind spinners Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka and Australia's Shane Warne.

"Nearer the time and around that Test different emotions will start rearing their head," he said. "Right now I am happy with everything.

"I am glad I get to play cricket again. I am looking forward to playing for Lancashire, playing that first Test, having fun on the field and remembering why I started playing the game.

"I would like to end it as I started it, loving bowling, showing my skills and helping the team win."

James Anderson has announced he will retire from Test cricket in July.

The 41-year-old, who is England's all-time leading wicket-taker, will call time on his glittering red-ball career after the first Test against West Indies on July 10. 

Anderson's 700 wickets in 187 Tests are the most by any pace bowler in history, and he has retained a key role in Brendon McCullum's team, playing four of England's five Tests in India earlier this year.

However, McCullum is reportedly planning for the long term as he looks to reshape England's bowling attack, and on Friday it emerged he had held talks with Anderson regarding his future.

Anderson's farewell appearance will come at Lord's in the first of three Tests against West Indies, before England take on Sri Lanka in another three-match series in August and September.

In a statement posted on Instagram, Anderson said: "Just a note to say that the first Test of the summer at Lord's will be my last Test.

"It's been an incredible 20 years representing my country, playing the game I've loved since I was a kid. I'm going to miss walking out for England so much. 

"But I know the time is right to step aside and let others realise their dreams just like I got to, because there is no greater feeling.

"I'm excited for the new challenges that lie ahead, as well as filling my days with even more golf. 

"Thank you to everyone who has supported me over the years, it's always meant a lot, even if my face often doesn't show it. See you at the Test."

James Anderson does not expect to be available for Lancashire until the end of May at the earliest as he looks to prime himself for the English Test summer.

Anderson became the first fast bowler in history to reach 700 Test wickets last month, joining spinners Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne in an exclusive club, in England’s 4-1 series loss in India.

As he wants to be firing on all cylinders for the first of England’s six Tests this summer, against the West Indies at Lord’s starting on July 10 – three weeks before his 42nd birthday – Anderson anticipates he will sit out the early part of the 2024 Vitality County Championship, which got under way on Friday.

He is set to miss at least the first five rounds and could also skip the visit of Warwickshire, beginning on May 24, although Lancashire’s next fixture after that is not until June 23 at Kent.

“With the Tests being in July, it’s tricky,” said Anderson. “It’ll probably be June before I play, or maybe the end of May.”

Anderson featured four times within the space of a month last year but then suffered a groin niggle which left him touch and go for the start of an Ashes series in which he had an underwhelming impact.

Anderson reducing his county commitments this term means the prospect of him playing alongside Nathan Lyon has receded after Cricket Australia scaled back the off-spinner’s availability for Lancashire.

The pair have been on opposite sides of the Ashes divide over the years but Lyon revealed they had lunch earlier this week and Anderson remains hopeful they can play together at least once or twice.

“It was nice to actually have a civil conversation with him,” added Anderson, speaking following the announcement that £35million will be invested into grassroots cricket.

“I think he plays seven out of the first nine games, so hopefully I’ll play one or two, either at the end of May or in June.”

Nathan Lyon admits the chance to bowl alongside Ashes rival James Anderson was part of the reason for his arrival in county cricket.

Lancashire pulled off a major coup by signing Australia’s record-breaking off-spinner on an overseas deal and, despite only touching down in the country on Tuesday, he goes straight into the squad for Friday’s curtain-raiser against defending champions Surrey.

Much has been made of the possibility of Lyon forging a mentor relationship with Tom Hartley, following the slow left-armer’s emergence for England this winter, but Lyon has revealed it was the chance to go into battle against an old adversary that really attracted him to Emirates Old Trafford.

Anderson, the most prolific seamer of all time, is currently resting up after his exertions in the five-match series against India but the prospect of two greats with a combined 1,230 wickets to their name is already being teased.

“That would be pretty amazing. I’d be lying if I said that opportunity coming around wasn’t a big part of the reason I signed,” he told BBC Radio Lancashire.

“He’s one of the greatest, if not the greatest, fast bowler to have played the game. I’ve had some incredible battles against him. I admire his skill, there’s nothing but respect from my end for what he’s been able to do for English cricket but also world cricket inspiring young boys and girls to play the game.

“If the opportunity comes around that I get to bowl in tandem with him and share a changing room with him it will be pretty special, so I’m looking forward to that.”

Lyon was initially brought in for the entire season, across all formats, but has seen his schedule cut to seven first-class games after a call was made by Cricket Australia over his workload management.

“It’s definitely not my call, that’s nature of the beast,” he said.

“CA have come over the top and said they wanted to manage me and hopefully extend my career. My hands are tied.”

James Anderson took his 700th Test wicket as England lost the fifth Test against India in Dharamsala.

Anderson is the leading Test wicket-taker among seam bowlers, behind only spin greats Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne in the overall list.

Here, the PA news agency looks at his career record.

Record-breaker

Anderson and his long-time new-ball partner Stuart Broad are two of only five bowlers ever to take 600 or more Test wickets, a list headed by Sri Lanka star Muralitharan’s remarkable 800.

Warne is next up with 708 for Australia, with Anderson following on exactly 700, Anil Kumble 619 and Broad 604. Anderson’s average of 26.53 ranks third in that group behind Muralitharan (22.73) and Warne (25.42), with Broad at 27.69 and Kumble 29.65.

Anderson has 32 five-wicket hauls, 12 more than Broad but behind the three spinners and seventh overall in Test cricket. Muralitharan is again out in front with a scarcely believable 67, with Warne’s 37 ranking second among all Test bowlers. Kumble took 35.

Four other bowlers have taken over 500 wickets – Australia seamer Glenn McGrath and spinner Nathan Lyon with 563 and 527 respectively, West Indies great Courtney Walsh on 519 and India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who reached 516 after taking 26 in the five-Test series against England.

Vintage performer

One of the more remarkable aspects of Anderson’s Test career is the way he has improved with age.

From the start of 2014, when he was already 31 with the wear and tear of 91 Tests as a new-ball paceman in his legs, he has more than doubled his tally of games and taken an astonishing 360 further wickets at 22.67.

Only 23 bowlers including Anderson have that many wickets in their full Test career and, of those, only three have an average lower than his in that phase – West Indies greats Malcolm Marshall at 20.94 and Curtly Ambrose at 20.99, and McGrath at 21.64.

That is boosted by 123 wickets at 24.08 since the start of 2020, despite passing his 40th birthday along the way.

Hundred at HQ

Anderson is one of only four bowlers to take over 100 Test wickets at a single venue, capturing 119 at Lord’s to Broad’s 113.

Muralitharan achieved the feat at three different grounds – 166 at Colombo’s SSC, 117 in Kandy and 111 at Galle, where fellow Sri Lanka spinner Rangana Herath took 102.

Anderson’s record at Trent Bridge may be even more impressive than at HQ, with 73 wickets at a stunning average of 19.23 across 12 Tests. The Lancastrian has 38 at 23.58 on his home ground of Old Trafford.

Ben Stokes declared “write this team off, write me off at your own peril” after his England side ended their tour of India with an abject defeat inside three days in Dharamsala.

James Anderson becoming the third bowler and first non-spinner to reach 700 Test wickets on Saturday was relegated to secondary status by England’s meek batting display as they lost by an innings and 64 runs.

A fourth successive defeat and seventh in 12 Tests was confirmed within just eight sessions of play, with England on a downward slide after winning 10 of their first 11 under Stokes and Brendon McCullum.

The duo’s methods have come under scrutiny during a 4-1 series defeat and Stokes has underperformed, averaging 19.9 with the bat, but the England captain was bullish about his team’s future prospects.

“Not just myself but the team are big enough to say we’ve been completely outplayed in the last four games,” Stokes said. “I’m always man enough to say we got beaten by the better team.

“Failure is a great teacher to sports teams. You either let failure and disappointment eat you up and shoot you down or you learn from failure and you make sure you don’t lose the enthusiasm of what we do.

“This series shouldn’t affect anything we’ve managed to achieve before this tour. It’s the first time, particularly these last four games, that this team has been dominated pretty much the whole time.

“We will use this as inspiration to become a better team and to become better players. I am obviously disappointed with my performance, but write this team off, write me off at your own peril.”

While Joe Root made 84 before he was last man out, he lacked a useful foil as England were skittled for 195, needing 259 to make India bat again, as Ravichandran Ashwin banked five for 77 on his 100th Test.

England have reached 400 just once in this series – in their famous triumph in Hyderabad in the opener – and what has been billed as an attack-minded mantra under this leadership has been questioned.

“The media name ‘Bazball’ – everyone says, ‘what is it?’ – in my opinion it’s wanting to be a better player,” Stokes said.

“In the face of defeat and failure, ‘Bazball’ will hopefully inspire people to become better players and become even better than what we are.

“I think we’ve done a lot of things right. One thing India have done is stay true to what makes them successful. We have done that but not been able to execute how we’d like to.

“Whenever we managed to wrestle back any type of momentum with the ball or bat, India were always able to then put it back on to us. That was where the Tests after the first one were won and lost.”

Stokes, who played his 100th Test in Rajkot, refused to make any excuses at the end of an anticlimactic few months for England in all formats. As well as this defeat, they were knocked out of the Cricket World Cup at the group stage and lost both ODI and T20 series in the West Indies.

“If we we weren’t disappointed, if we weren’t frustrated at how the series has ended up, I don’t really know what other emotions you could have,” Stokes said.

“Use it as fuel. I always feel like I can’t work any harder, but I’ll come away from this tour and go home and work even harder than what I have done out here for the summer coming up.”

Anderson, with his father in the crowd, finally joined Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne in the 700 club. The 41-year-old spent several months in the 690s but the moment came when Kuldeep Yadav hung out his bat and edged through to wicketkeeper Ben Foakes.

“He doesn’t play the game for the milestones, he plays for his team-mates and England,” Stokes added. “He’s just an unbelievable ambassador for the game and in particular fast bowling.

“If someone came up to me and said who should I emulate if I want to be a good fast bowler, the first name I’d say is Jimmy Anderson.”

Sir Alastair Cook and Steven Finn backed former team-mate James Anderson to keep chasing records after he claimed his 700th Test wicket during England’s series-ending loss to India at Dharamsala.

Anderson reached the milestone when he had Kuldeep Yadav caught behind by Ben Foakes at the start of day three of the fifth Test.

While England went on to be dismissed for 195 to lose by an innings and 64 runs in the final Test of the series, the plaudits rolled in for Anderson, who is the only seamer to reach the 700-wicket mark and has Shane Warne’s tally of 708 in his sights.

TNT Sports pundit Cook even joked the 41-year-old would have half an eye on the record 800-wicket haul of Sri Lankan great Muttiah Muralitharan.

Cook said: “You go to Dharamsala as a fan and see your side get drubbed but at least you can say you were there when the only seamer in Test history got to 700 wickets.

“It was a great moment and who knows when he will stop.

“I think he would like to knock Warne off and I don’t want to say he can’t get to Muralitharan!

“Jesus, 700 is a lot, a lot of effort.”

Ex-England seamer Finn hailed Anderson’s ability to adapt given the Lancashire veteran made his Test debut back in 2003.

 

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“My word what a player he is,” Finn added.

“He has been a remarkable player, with his ability to evolve and adapt with the times, to stay fit and bowl at the same pace now as he did eight or nine years ago.

“What a setting to do it, at the foot of the Himalayas. To get 700 wickets in 187 games is truly remarkable.”

Anderson’s captain Ben Stokes insisted the 187-Test capped bowler should serve as inspiration for aspiring seamers.

Stokes admitted: “Yeah, amazing to be on the field. I’ve been lucky enough to be on the field for some of the milestones Jimmy has got to but being there for 700 wickets as a seamer is quite phenomenal.

“I’ve said many times he is someone every young kid who wants to be a fast bowler should look up to and try to emulate everything he has done.

“He is 41 years old, he is as fit as I’ve ever seen him and I honestly just don’t know when he will stop because the desire, commitment and everything is still there. It’s great to watch.”

England’s tour of India ended in abject fashion as they were hammered by an innings and 64 runs inside three days, with not even James Anderson’s 700th Test wicket masking another batting capitulation.

Anderson became the third bowler and first non-spinner to reach the milestone on the third morning of the fifth Test, dismissing Kuldeep Yadav early on, but India’s lead of 259 at the halfway stage was ominous.

While Joe Root amassed 84, Ravichandran Ashwin ran amok on his 100th Test with five for 77 as England were all out for 195 in 48.1 overs in Dharamsala for a seventh loss in their last dozen Tests.

Ashwin was disruptor-in-chief, taking five wickets as England lurched to 113 for six then 141 for eight and even though Root battled away, his efforts were in vain.

India run out 4-1 series winners and while England had their moments in the first four Tests, they have been outclassed inside eight sessions at the picture-perfect HPCA Stadium in the Himalayan foothills.

The writing has been on the wall since England collapsed from 175 for three to 218 all out on the first day and, Root excepted, there were signs of scrambled minds from the batters on a relatively blameless pitch on Saturday as they succumbed to a heaviest innings loss of the Ben Stokes-Brendon McCullum era.

Ben Duckett had not ran down the wicket to the spinners in this series and had never done so against Ashwin. But perhaps a lack of trust in his defence led to him advancing to Ashwin and toe-ending on to his stumps in the second over.

The pressure told on Zak Crawley after 15 dot balls as he turned his 16th delivery to close-in fielder Sarfaraz Khan while Ollie Pope made a chancy 19 before premeditating a sweep which took a top edge and ballooned to Yashasvi Jaiswal as England’s top-three were sent packing by Ashwin inside 10 overs.

Root was busy and Jonny Bairstow purposeful in a 56-run stand off just 50 balls. Bairstow muscled three leg-side sixes in the space of seven Ashwin deliveries but Jasprit Bumrah, deputising for India captain Rohit Sharma being off the field, simply shuffled his pack and was rewarded.

Kuldeep produced a three-card trick, with two googlies negotiated before a ripping delivery that spun back in and rapped Bairstow on the pad. Encouraged to review by Root, Bairstow started trudging off for 39 off 31 deliveries long before ball-tracking confirmed his fate on his 100th Test.

Root seemed unperturbed by what was unfolding at the other end and helped England beyond three figures with a gorgeous drive for four off Kuldeep but Stokes fell to the final ball of the morning session.

Stokes’ batting returns have dwindled in this series and his dismissal for two was his fourth single-figure score in a row, outfoxed by Ashwin’s arm ball and bowled through the gate. It was the 13th time the England captain has been dismissed by Ashwin in 17 Tests. No one has more success against him.

Still 156 short of making India bat again, the writing was on the wall as Root and Ben Foakes resumed after lunch. Foakes went for an uncharacteristic slog sweep and saw his bails dislodged as Ashwin, whose family in the stands were on their feet, raised the ball to celebrate his five-for.

Tom Hartley made 20 but was deceived by a slower delivery and lbw to Bumrah, whose toe-crushing yorker two balls later meant a pair in the match for Mark Wood.

Root went to fifty with a flick for four off Bumrah and continued on his merry way, finding some support from Shoaib Bashir, who was bowled for 13 by Ravindra Jadeja and tried to review, unaware his timbers had been disturbed.

With only Anderson for company, Root went on the charge and holed out off Kuldeep to complete England’s misery 10 minutes before tea.

The morning started brightly for England as Anderson, with his father in the crowd, finally joined Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne in the 700 club. The 41-year-old spent several months in the 690s but the moment came when Kuldeep hung out his bat and edged through to Foakes to depart for 30.

Anderson soaked in the congratulations of his team-mates at his historic moment held the ball aloft in a typically low-key celebration.

India added just four to their overnight total as they were all out for 477, Bumrah the last to go for 20 as Bashir claimed five for 173 from 46.1 overs. Anderson wanted Bashir to lead England off the field before the pair walked off together.

England are battling to avoid a three-day defeat in Dharamsala as Ravichandran Ashwin caused havoc among the top-order after James Anderson became the first fast bowler to record 700 Test wickets.

Anderson joined former Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and the late Australia leg-break bowler Shane Warne in the 700 club by dismissing Kuldeep Yadav on the third morning of the fifth Test.

India were all out for 477 and a lead of 259 before Ashwin ran amok on his 100th Test, bagging both England openers, Ollie Pope and Ben Stokes as the tourists ended the session on 103 for five.

Jonny Bairstow briefly rallied on his 100th Test with three big sixes off Ashwin but there was to be no memorable end to the series for the Yorkshireman as he was dismissed before lunch for 39 off 31 balls.

A 4-1 series defeat now appears all but inevitable and England’s hopes of not losing by an innings rest on Joe Root, who is on 34 not out after Stokes was castled by Ashwin with the last ball of the session.

After a chastening past couple of days, England broke out in smiles when Anderson kissed the outside edge of Kuldeep on the way through to Ben Foakes for 30. The evergreen 41-year-old soaked in the congratulations of his team-mates before raising the ball in a typically low-key celebration.

Shoaib Bashir had his five-for as India added just four runs to their overnight score, with the young off-spinner bagging Jasprit Bumrah for 20 to finish with five for 173. Anderson and Bashir each deferred to the other to lead England off the field before walking off together.

It was not long before England were in trouble when their innings started, Ashwin making the breakthrough in his first over when Ben Duckett uncharacteristically charged down the wicket and toe-ended the ball on to his off stump.

Zak Crawley made a 16-ball duck, dismissed after turning Ashwin to backward short-leg while Pope was sketchy again, making 19 before premeditating a sweep which ballooned off the top edge to Yashasvi Jaiswal.

Bairstow was purposeful and muscled three sixes in the space of seven Ashwin deliveries but was lbw when Kuldeep found sharp turn off the pitch. A review failed to save him as HawkEye showed the ball brushing the top of the stumps.

Despite bagging a wicket with his first ball yesterday, Stokes’ troubles with the bat continued as he was dismissed for a 13th time by Ashwin on the stroke of lunch, bowled through the gate by one that skidded on.

James Anderson continues to defy the sands of time, claiming his 700th Test wicket aged 41 for England in their fifth Test against India in Dharamsala.

Here, the PA news agency looks at five other sportspeople from the UK whose longevity is unparalleled in their chosen professions.

Sir Steve Redgrave – rowing

The only man in history to win gold at five successive Olympics in an endurance sport. Redgrave first stood atop the podium at a Games in Los Angeles 1984 and reigned supreme until Sydney 2000 – four years after his memorable utterance: “Anybody who sees me in a boat has my permission to shoot me” in 1996.

Ryan Giggs – football

The most decorated player in English football history with 34 trophies, the Welshman went 23 seasons in a row scoring at least one goal in the top-flight. The ex-Manchester United winger played over 1,000 games for club and country, penning his first deal as a 17-year-old in 1990 before bowing out in 2014.

Ronnie O’Sullivan – snooker

Seven days before his 18th birthday, O’Sullivan toppled the great Stephen Hendry in the final of the 1993 UK Championship. While it took another eight years to win a first world title, the Chigwell-based potter has won another six since then and most observers would argue he remains the best player today.

Sir AP McCoy – horse racing

A champion jockey for a record 20 successive times in every year that he was a professional, the Northern Irishman rode 4,358 winners. McCoy won almost every notable horse race in Britain and Ireland and capped his career with a long-awaited Grand National triumph in 2010, retiring five years later.

James Roby – rugby league

In an often brutal sport where injuries can soon take their toll, the former St Helens captain broke the mould with a 20-season career and finished as the leading appearance-maker in Super League’s summer era with 495 matches. Roby was a six-time Super League and two-time World Club Challenge winner.

Age and injuries have been insufficient roadblocks as James Anderson has set another stratospheric benchmark, unlikely to ever be beaten.

There are few other sportspeople that have given Father Time such a run for their money than the evergreen swing king, who aged 41 years and 223 days and in his 23rd year as an international fast bowler has just bagged his 700th Test wicket in England’s fifth Test against India in Dharamsala.

Only Muttiah Muralitharan (800) and the late Shane Warne (708) have more but Anderson is out of sight among non-spinners and may never be toppled, with closest challenger Stuart Broad retiring last year.

It is doubtful Anderson would be where he is without Broad, who owes just as much of his success to the Lancastrian. The pair are indelibly linked and their partnership fits comfortably alongside McGrath-Warne, Wasim-Waqar and Walsh-Ambrose as one of the best of all-time.

There are those who seek to downplay their achievements, that their records are gilded in home conditions with more modest successes overseas. But statistics can obscure the bigger picture and Anderson was instrumental in England’s two greatest away victories in a generation.

Sir Alastair Cook took the plaudits with his insatiable appetite for runs in the 2010/11 Ashes but the leading wicket-taker was Anderson, whose immaculate control and key breakthroughs led to him being described as “the major difference” by Mahendra Singh Dhoni when England beat India in 2012 in a series where all other quicks floundered.

Sir Ian Botham’s 383 wickets are long since in the rear view mirror and much like the great all-rounder’s fine wines, Anderson kept getting better with age. Since his 30th birthday he has taken 432 wickets at 24.13 while that average sinks to a scarcely believable 22.86 after turning 35.

Rewind to December 2002, the start of his life with England, and Anderson was a terrorising paceman who swung the ball round corners and possessed immaculate seam control. He made an impression in the 2003 World Cup before taking a five-for on Test debut against Zimbabwe later that year.

His career stalled over the next few years, partly because well-meaning coaches attempting to iron out kinks in his action to prevent stress fractures in his back had the unintended consequence of inducing stress fractures in his back.

He filtered out the bad advice and after being in and out of the side, his and Broad’s inclusion in New Zealand in March 2008 marked a changing of the guard as Matthew Hoggard and Steve Harmison were ushered out.

The connection was not instantaneous and England had to bide their time, but they struck up a union that brought four Ashes series victories between 2009 and 2015 during a golden period in which they also climbed to the top of the Test rankings between 2011 and 2012.

As Anderson’s career has progressed, so too has his meticulous planning to his craft. As his speeds dropped, he focused on a metronomic line and length to constrain batters although he was still capable of producing the odd ‘magic ball’. That was evidenced with his 500th Test scalp as he pegged back the middle stump of West Indies opener Kraigg Brathwaite in 2017 en route to career best figures of seven for 42 at Lord’s.

Afterwards, Anderson admitted to feeling “not quite teary but emotional” – a break from his more natural sullen and occasionally grumpy demeanour.

Apart from one heated confrontation with India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja in 2014, that hostility was self-contained. Anderson is a more self-effacing and thoughtful character off the field and channels his temper in more productive fashion.

He was part of the England side that reached the 2013 Champions Trophy final but his white-ball career ended two years later after the World Cup omnishambles. Although Anderson never actually retired, he was deemed surplus to requirements even if no other Englishman can better his 269 ODI wickets.

The decision elongated Anderson’s red-ball career. He went on to top the Test bowling rankings on a couple of occasions, breaching the 900-point barrier a few days after he passed 100 wickets at Lord’s in August 2018 – the first paceman to take a century at a single venue. A month later he surpassed Glenn McGrath’s 563 wickets to become Test cricket’s most successful fast bowler.

A chronic shoulder injury, which was a factor in great rival Dale Steyn’s retirement, has impacted his daily routine to such an extent that even just brushing his teeth can prove a burden.

Recurring calf complaints meant he missed almost all of the 2019 Ashes while a broken rib sidelined him after a stellar showing at Cape Town that winter but Anderson remained unbowed through it all.

Being left out of England’s post-Ashes tour of the West Indies in 2022 brought fresh speculation Anderson might finally call it quits but he predictably came back with a vengeance and seems rejuvenated under the leadership of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum.

Despite the combination of a poor 2023 Ashes and Broad heading for the hills, Anderson keeps going and has finally joined the 700 club. Warne may now be in his sights – after that, who knows?

James Anderson has become the first fast bowler to reach 700 Test wickets.

The 41-year-old England seamer joins former Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and the late Australia leg-break bowler Shane Warne to get to the milestone in his 187th Test.

Anderson moved to 699 on day two of the fifth Test against India in Dharamsala by bowling Shubman Gill through the gate and got to 700 on the third morning by removing lower-order batter Kuldeep Yadav.

With just his 10th delivery of the day, Anderson, who began his record-breaking Test career in May 2003, hung one outside off stump and Kuldeep obliged with the edge on the way through to Ben Foakes.

Anderson was mobbed by his team-mates before sheepishly raising the ball to the crowd in a typically understated celebration after ending a 49-run stand, with Kuldeep on his way for 30.

Shoaib Bashir struck to remove Jasprit Bumrah three balls later as India were all out for 477 and an ominous lead of 259, with England’s young off-spinner finishing with figures of five for 173.

Anderson began to lead England off the field but motioned for Bashir to go ahead of him after the 20-year-old’s second five-wicket haul in just his third Test.

But Bashir, who was not even born when Anderson started playing for England, smiled and edged towards Anderson as they walked off the field at the HPCA Stadium together.

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