The headlines of the England’s newspapers read like this: “Jimmy joins the Giants”, “Jimmy Anderson joins the 500 club as West Indies finally begin to buckle in the deciding Test at Lord’s… where it all began for the England ace”, “ 500 up! Anderson becomes first England player in history to reach this milestone of Test Wickets”. By now, you would have understood the soul of this article. Yes, it is about the most successful bowler of England: James Michael Anderson aka Jimmy, The Burnley Express, The King of Swing and many more…
It all started at the very place where cricket was born the Mecca of Cricket: “Lord’s Cricket Ground”, back in 2003 when a young boy spotted with a chubby face, funky hair, standing tall sharing the new ball with Mathew Hoggard; least we knew how great he would turn out to be. Picking up a five-fer in his first innings showed the world his talent to swing the ball both ways announcing his arrival at the international stage, with ‘out swing’ being the conventional ball, ‘in swingers’ to the right-handers was his deadly weapon.
Born in Burnley of Lancashire on 30th of July in 1982, it was his dream to become a cricketer and play for England. At the age of 17, he first played the Lancashire league, as one of the first bowlers. Later in 2002, he made his first class debut for Lancashire in which he had a dream run picking up 50 wickets in 13 matches at an average of 22 made him the star of that season. Soon he got a call from the National One Day International (ODI) team where England was ready to tour Australia in December of 2002. The test debut was in May of 2003 at Lord’s, but it did not last long as he kept losing his spot in the team due to the change of action, speed issues and the lack of temperament. It was again in 2007, where he made a comeback to the national team and have not looked back since then. With 500 test wickets to his name, Jimmy has truly demonstrated his resilience and showed the world his mettle.
500th test wicket:
2.6: the sixth ball of the third over was when the history was rewritten by one of the athletic fast bowlers of the world; he uses his deadliest weapon to get there. A beautiful inswinger, full length pitching just outside the off stump and the batsman lines himself to play the off drive and that is when his artistic skills were put into effect once again, jags backs in and Brathwaite (Batsman) was done completely as the sound of the clatter was heard by the world. Traditional celebration by Jimmy: finger pointing towards the sky, running through to slips with a grin on his face, but gets a tad emotional as the whole crowd gives him a standing ovation; richly deserving though.
England’s leading wicket taker in both ODI’s and tests say this “Certainly when I was younger, doubted whether I was good enough to play international Cricket. But I guess if you just try and battle to prove yourself you can do it”.
It was pleasure growing up watching you bowl and shatter those stumps the way you do always. Kudos on your achievement and keep entertaining us for a longer time.