James Anderson’s ‘pride’ at surpassing Ian Botham’s record

The England bowler talks of how proud it made him to surpass Ian Botham’s record. James Anderson became England’s highest...

The England bowler talks of how proud it made him to surpass Ian Botham’s record.

James Anderson became England’s highest ever wicket taker last Sunday, when his dismissal of New Zealand’s BJ Watling took him one ahead of Ian Botham’s previous record of 528.

The fast bowler spoke to The Sport Review about his delight in reaching the milestone and the struggles he’s been through to get there.

“It gives me a huge amount of pride,” Anderson revealed.

“When I started playing for England I never dreamed of getting anywhere near this number of wickets.”

Anderson made his début for his country over 10 years ago, in an ODI against Australia in Melbourne. He took the prized wicket of Australian opener Adam Gilchrist in that match and went on to make his Test début in the summer of 2003.

When he was first selected by then-coach Duncan Fletcher, Anderson was an unknown bowler from Lancashire; having only played three one-day county matches.

For many years his international form was erratic, with moments of brilliance alongside poor performances.

“The first half of my career was up and down with injuries and lack of form,” he continued.

“It has not all been plain sailing.”

However, since his troubled start, Anderson went on to be named one of Wisden’s five cricketers of the year in 2008 – an impressive 7-43 against New Zealand contributing significantly to that.

In 2010 the Lancashire bowler started to show what a world-beater he truly was. He took a career best 11 wickets against Pakistan at Trent Bridge, before going on to claim 24 victims during England’s Ashes victory in Australia.

Anderson is still 95 wickets short of the 383 Test wickets Botham claimed, but at only 30-years-old, there is a realistic chance he could beat that record too.

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