James Anderson has missed two series against Australia and South Africa due to injuries. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
The coronavirus pandemic has postponed, cancelled or suspended every sporting activity in the globe, with cricket facing a total lockdown. In the United Kingdom, with close to 12,000 cases and nearly 600 deaths, the country faces a lockdown which could reportedly last close to six months. According to media reports in the United Kingdom, the government is proposing harsh measures in order to contain the coronavirus that has caused chaos and destruction in Europe. With England suspending all professional cricket until May 28, the idea of not bowling professionally again for most bowlers in the entire home summer is a big possibility for most England cricketers, including England's leading Test wicket-taker in James Anderson.
Anderson, whose 584 Test wickets are the most taken by any paceman in the history of the game, is nearing the end of his playing days but he is sure that the coronavirus pandemic will not end his cricketing career immediately. "I've not actually thought about never playing cricket again. I feel like we will play again and I will play again at some stage. I'm still hungry to play, I've still got ambitions to play for England. So I think the fact I've been able to do this for a long time and I get to play a sport as a job means when I do get to do that again, I'm really going to cherish it and enjoy every single moment of it," Anderson said in a conference call with AFP.
Anderson is keeping fit by working out on-line with teammates including fellow pacemen Stuart Broad and Mark Wood. "A few of the lads are training together virtually. I did a workout with Stuart Broad and Mark Wood yesterday. We've all got Pelotons -- the bikes. You can compete against each other. Stuart came out on top this time, with me a close second and Mark Wood in third," Anderson said.
James Anderson is training virtually in order to stay fit when cricket resumes. (Image credit: Getty Images)
Anderson believes even if that return date is feasible, the timescale could be tight unless players can train outdoors in May. He is also wary about the prospect of matches being played behind closed doors, saying the game has to be played in front of fans. Although he has long been a red-ball specialist, Anderson said he would be prepared to play white-ball cricket again, even in the new Hundred competition. Anderson has an ambassadorial role with the Manchester Originals, one of the franchises, but no contract.
"I want to be playing cricket and if that is the only cricket going on, if it's the Hundred or the T20 Blast, I'd love to be involved in that. If there wasn't any red-ball cricket this summer, it would be a long, long time for me to be ticking over in the nets," Anderson said.
Despite the frustrations as a cricketer during the coronavirus lockdown, Anderson said it was important to look at the bigger picture. "People are sacrificing a hell of a lot for us to try and keep us healthy. I think us sacrificing some of, and maybe all of, the cricket season and staying inside for a bit, I don't think that's a huge sacrifice," Anderson said.
-With Agency Inputs-