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Knighthood calls made as Warnie’s tally threatened



Knighthood calls made as Warnie’s tally threatened

England cricketing great Andrew Strauss has called for retiring legend Jimmy Anderson to join him in an exclusive group as the fast bowler prepares for his farewell.

Anderson will play his 188th and last Test match at Lord’s against the West Indies and with 700 wickets to his name is still a chance of overtaking Shane Warne (708).

Ahead of the Lord’s Test, Strauss was asked whether the 41-year-old should be knighted, to which he gave an emphatic response.

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“Very much so,” he said.

“I think any fast bowler that plays 188 Test matches deserves a knighthood, I’ll put it that way.”

James Anderson will play his final Test match at Lord’s.  Getty

Strauss was awarded a knighthood himself in 2019, the same year fellow former opener Alastair Cook achieved the honour.

Anderson will come into the first Test against the West Indies in good form, having taken 7-35 for Lancashire last week.

However, captain Ben Stokes has flagged the team is now focused on the next Ashes series in Australia, with Anderson not part of those plans.

“Jimmy’s still bowling well, as we saw from his performances at Lancashire but there’s a ticking clock there for the next Ashes, isn’t there?” Strauss said.

“I think 18 games until the next Ashes. And at some stage you’ve got to juggle the needs for the future with the needs for the present. So I can understand why they’ve chosen this as the right time to do that.

“One thing we know for sure is that to win in Australia, or to win any Test match or any Test series, it all comes down to the quality and variety of your bowling attack. And so, to me, the next Ashes is too far away for Jimmy.”

In his previous role as director of cricket, Strauss dropped Anderson in 2022. Fast bowler Stuart Broad was also axed as the former opening batter tried to shake up the Test squad.

Ben Stokes’ reign as captain led to Anderson and Broad being recalled.

However, the tide has turned yet again with Stokes, coach Brendon McCullum and director Rob Key calling time on Anderson’s career. Strauss believes it is the right call.

“People have written him off many times, including probably myself, but that (Ashes) does feel too far down the road. And so at some stage you have got to start planning for that,” he said.

“I think it’s a tremendous thing that he has the opportunity here this week to feel the love, I suppose, and to get the appreciation he deserves from the cricketing public for those 21 years. It’s going to be a very emotional and poignant Test match and, of course, the boots that need to be filled are immense. But I can understand why this is the right time.”

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