James Anderson bows out

The Burnley Express will go down as one of England’s greatest bowlers- and his lofty total will take some beating

Patrick Hollis
3 min readMay 13, 2024
James Anderson is calling it a day (Photo: Getty)

James Anderson has been a staple of English Test cricket for 20 years, with his deadly swing bowling claiming victims around the world. News that he will play his final match for his country this summer is truly the end of an era, but one that we all knew would happen at one point.

Anderson has been a huge part of England’s successes over the years. His leadership in the bowling attack means that he leaves big shoes to be filled in the coming months. 700 wickets and a usually pretty good economy rate are tough factors to replace. Still, that mantle now rests on the England selectors with a busy 2024 schedule ahead of them.

Jimmy’s career has been a long and fruitful one and he has often been a shining light through some dark times. He has also been deservingly part of some of the best England squads ever formed- the side that won 3–1 down in Australia in 2010–11 being the example. His iconic action and ability to, when the conditions were right, get the ball swinging around corners will be missed for England. The coming months will be both interesting and intriguing as Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes build a bowling attack for the future.

The Lancashire man burst onto the Test scene in May 2003 against Zimbabwe at Lord’s. This would see Jimmy pick the first of 32 five-wicket hauls during a 187-match career. 21 years later, he will bow out of Test cricket at the same ground he stepped into it- this time against the West Indies.

James Anderson will be one of the greatest bowlers ever to pull on an England shirt. It will be a very long time before any bowler anywhere in the world comes close to his 700 wickets, and this feat is even more impressive for a fast bowler with the top of the list dominated by spin bowlers who historically can bowl for longer than their careers.

Jimmy Anderson will go down as one of the greats (Photo: Getty)

Not known for his efforts with the bat, one occasion will live long in the minds of England fans. Alongside Monty Panesar, the two tailenders bat for over 11 overs to save the First Test of the 2009 Ashes series. It was a dogged display from their pair, with Jimmy giving a glimpse of the last man in/ night watchman form he would give to England over the remainder of his career.

With Jimmy hanging up his boots just months after his long-term partner Stuart Broad did the same, England are facing the prospect of replacing two bowlers with 1300 wickets between them. The players are there, and the start of the County Championship season has shown that there are English bowlers out there who are deserving of their chance. The time has therefore come for the next generation of England fast bowlers to step up to the mark and lead the line for their country.

As an England fan in my 20s, it feels weird to think that neither Stuart Broad nor Anderson (after his last Test) will play for their nation again. Both have given fans some of the best moments of the last two decades, but all good things must at some point come to an end.

With any luck, I could be writing something very similar in 20 years about another English quick bowler who had led the line for his country through thick and thin and is gunning for James Anderson’s record. We dare to dream.



Patrick Hollis

I am a journalist with an honours degree from Coventry University. I’m a published author and journalist with several years experience in the industry