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South Africa v England

James Anderson: Don’t know if I’ve peaked yet, want to play into my fourties

Ben Gardner by Ben Gardner 2 minute read

England fast bowler James Anderson says he doesn’t know if he’s peaked yet, and wants to keep playing into his 40s.

The future of England’s leading Test wicket taker, and the first quick to play 150 Test matches, has often been a hot topic for discussion, and how long he can keep playing for was once again in question after a broken rib sustained in England’s Cape Town victory ruled him out of the final two Tests of the series against South Africa.

However, that game also confirmed Anderson’s longevity, with him becoming one of England’s oldest-ever to take a Test five-for, and he has confirmed that, having recoverd from the injury, he still feels fit and could play on for a while yet.

“I genuinely don’t know if I’ve peaked yet,” Anderson said on Sky Sports. “I’m still learning all the time, working harder in the gym as I get older. For me, in my head, why does 37 have to be towards the end?

“You could say, he’s not going to be playing when he’s 45. Probably not but I’ve seen bowlers go into their 40s, it’s not impossible. I still think like a youngster. I don’t want to be taking the mick and going on way too long, but I still feel fit.”

Should Anderson continue in Tests until past his 40th birthday, he will be available to take part in the next Ashes series in Australia in the 2021/22 season, and his former England captain, close friend, and fellow Sky Sports pundit Sir Alastair Cook backed him to perform a key role as England try to reclaim the urn.

“He’s proved everyone wrong every single time anyone’s ever questioned him,” he said. “I won’t be surprised if Jimmy goes out to Australia and plays a massive part in that series.”

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