Anderson rejects retirement talk: I'm still hungry to play the game

By Rob Lancaster 10 August 2020 1
Anderson rejects retirement talk: I'm still hungry to play the game

James Anderson was frustrated with his performance in England's series opener with Pakistan but has no plans to retire from Test cricket just yet. 

England claimed an impressive three-wicket win at Old Trafford, chasing down a target of 277 after their bowlers had helped bring them back into the contest late on day three. 

However, Anderson struggled at his home ground, at times cutting an exasperated figure as he returned match figures of 1-97. 

The seamer admits he struggled for rhythm but, at 38, is focused on rediscovering his best form as he closes in on the milestone of 600 Test wickets. 

Asked on a media conference call on Monday whether he was contemplating retirement amid speculation over his future, Anderson emphatically replied: "Absolutely not. 

"It's been a frustrating week for me personally because I've not bowled very well, I've felt out of rhythm. 

"Probably for the first time in 10 years I got a little bit emotional on the field, started getting frustrated and let that get to me a little bit. 

"It reminded me of when I first started playing, when you get frustrated and a little bit angry then you start trying to bowl quicker and quicker, and that obviously doesn't help on the field. 

"For me, once we get down to Southampton, it is a case of working really hard over the next couple of days, see if there are any technical issues that I can sort out and just try and work hard and hope that I get the nod for the next game, so I can try and show people that I've still got what it takes to play Test cricket." 

 

While once again pointing out his determination to keep on playing, Anderson acknowledged his future could be taken out of his hands by the selectors. 

England are back in action this week, with the second Test against Pakistan beginning on Thursday at the Rose Bowl, and have called up Sussex seamer Ollie Robinson to the squad. 

"I want to keep playing for as long as I possibly can," Anderson said. "If I keep bowling the way I did this week, the opportunity to retire will be taken out of my hands. 

"I'm still hungry to play the game, I think the frustration for me this week is that after just one bad game, whispers go around, and I don't think that is really fair. 

"Something that I have done well throughout my career is deal with the pressure that comes with playing, whether that is pressure of expectation, pressure of the match situation - I feel I've dealt with that pretty well throughout my career. 

"This week I probably didn't do that very well. That is something I need to look at and go away, personally look at that and whether I play in the next game or the game after that or if it is in the winter then whenever I play next, I'm ready to be able to cope with that." 

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