James Anderson’s 30 this year

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< 1 minute read

Fast bowling involves a perfectly natural series of movements

This might not seem all that significant. After all, not a year – not one single year – goes by without some international cricketer or other turning 30. This is different though. James Anderson was one of those players who loomed into view early in life and we still think of him that way.

Anderson took his 250th Test wicket today. This moment brought home how far he’s come since being written off on about 85 occasions in his youth. He sprayed it around, they said. Well nowadays the ball’s as obedient as the blinkered humans in cult classic, They Live, and as threatening as Rowdy Roddy Piper’s character in the same film (only it doesn’t have a mullet).

It’s worth remembering Anderson’s development the next time a cricketer in his early 20s fails. People do change. We hear some people’s trenchant views and wonder where they draw the line. Do they proclaim three-year-olds to be ‘not Test match material’ due to a fondness for crayons? Do they snort with derision at babies and inform them they will never be fast bowlers because they lack the height?

Remember when Jimmy Anderson was so shy he wouldn’t even speak to his captain? That seems a while ago.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. Good on Jimmy for sticking on, but it cannot be denied that the game is getting younger by the day. It’s hard to see how a non-performing 26 year-old would still be given chances these days based on the charmingly romantic “he’s got an eye for the game” or that elusive “class”.

    Full points for the hover caption.

  2. Almost all of the England team has been labeled “not test match material” at some point in their careers. Probably what journos should really write is “not test match material right now”. I was written off as not being test match material after scoring 1 of 24 balls in under 13s and I think it greatly affected my future international career.

  3. I started to daydream while staring at the picture. As i lost focus, it seemed there was no way that Anderson’s left arm could be in that position and still actually be his own. Morbidly fascinating in a deformed hunchback of notre dame kind of way.

    1. “Morbidly fascinating in a deformed hunchback of notre dame kind of way.”

      Ah, you saw my Lonely Hearts advert.

  4. Meanwhile, a 26 year old in New Zealand does something for the first time in 116 years. In the cricket context of course. I am sure things happen every day in New Zealand which are unique outside of cricket.

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