File photo of James Anderson© AFP

England pace legend James Anderson has announced that he will retire from cricket this year. Having become the first fast bowler ever to take 700 wickets in Test cricket during England’s tour of India earlier this year, legendary Australian spinner Shane Warne‘s tally of 708 wickets in the format could be on Anderson’s target as he takes the field for one final run with the England team. The first Test of the summer at Lord’s will be Anderson’s final game, which will be against West Indies. England are set to play Tests against West Indies and Sri Lanka at home this year.

“Hi everyone. 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,” he wrote in the Instagram post.

“I couldn’t have done it without the love and support of Daniella, Lola, Ruby and my parents. A huge thank you to them. Also, thank you to the players and coaches who have made this the best job in the world.

“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, Go well Jimmy x”

According to ‘The Guardian’, Anderson was told by England’s Test team coach Brendon McCullum that they are looking at the future, with an eye on the Ashes 2025-26 in Australia, which means that end of the road is near for the 41-year-old.

The report said that McCullum flew especially from New Zealand to the UK to inform Anderson about his future over a round of golf Anderson, who has played 187 Tests for England in a storied career which began in May 2003 along with 194 ODIs and 19 T20Is, sits third in the list of all-time highest wicket-takers in Test cricket with 700 wickets, behind Warne (708) and Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan (800).

With PTI inputs

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