James Anderson eager to end on high after ‘making peace’ with England retirement

James Anderson has “made peace” with his impending England retirement – even if the evergreen seamer believes he is bowling as well as he ever has done.

As they look towards the future with a particular emphasis on the 2025-26 Ashes trip to Australia, England’s management team informed Anderson in late April they would be moving on from him this summer.

While he turns 42 this month, Anderson warmed up for his valedictory 188th Test appearance against the West Indies at Lord’s, starting on Wednesday, with a seven-wicket haul for Lancashire last week.

James Anderson will play in his 188th and final Test this week (John Walton/PA)
James Anderson will play in his 188th and final Test this week (John Walton/PA)

But Anderson, whose 700 Test wickets are a record for a non-spinner, insisted he is excited for what the future holds after agreeing to remain with England’s red-ball side for the rest of the summer as a fast bowling mentor.

“I feel like I’m still bowling as well as I ever have,” Anderson said. “But I knew it had to end at some point. Whether it’s now or in a year or two.

“The fact it’s now is something I’ve got to deal with and accept. The last couple of months I’ve made peace with that. I can completely understand the decision and the way the team and management want to go.

“I’d love just to be able to contribute somehow this week. Whether it’s one wicket or whatever it is, I’d love just to make a small contribution and win the game.

“I’m actually really excited about what I can contribute to this team, certainly for the rest of this summer and maybe further than that.”

While Anderson’s international career is drawing to a close, he is yet to make a decision about whether he will carry on playing for Lancashire, where he has an end named after him at Emirates Old Trafford.

He added: “The likelihood is this week is my last game of first-class cricket this season, but we’ll have to see what happens.

“I’ll chat to the people at Lancs and see what we do going forward. It’s a difficult one to weigh up because my emotions are all over the place.”