Ashes 2019: Anderson injury 'a big blow' for England - Leach

By Sports Desk August 30, 2019

James Anderson's Ashes career looks to have been ended by a recurrence of a calf injury after England's greatest bowler was ruled out of the Old Trafford and Oval Tests.

The 575-wicket paceman was on duty for Lancashire second XI for the second week in a row, looking to prove his fitness for the climax of the series against Australia.

With England and Australia tied at 1-1, the prospect of Anderson coming into Joe Root's team could have provided a major spur for the hosts.

However, a right calf problem has seen the plans shelved, and at the age of 37 it seems certain Anderson has played his final Ashes match. He will be 39 by the time the next series against Australia comes around Down Under in 2021-22.

Anderson limped out of the ongoing series on day one of the Edgbaston opener and has not been involved since.

The 37-year-old seamer clung to the hope of returning, but calf trouble resurfaced in the Lancashire second-string game against Durham at Chester Boughton Hall Cricket Club.

"That's a big blow for us," said England spinner Jack Leach.

"Obviously he's a great bowler, probably England's greatest bowler, so whenever that happens it's going to be a big blow.

"I'm gutted for him. He's worked really hard to try to get fit for Lord's and for this game [at Old Trafford] so it's a shame for Jimmy and a shame for England.

"We have to move on without him for this game and for the rest of the series. But I'm sure he’ll come back strong, and it's a shame for him."

Anderson has taken 104 wickets in 32 Tests against Australia, at an average of 34.56.

He had looked certain to return to the England squad at Old Trafford, where a stand is named in his honour, providing he came through his low-profile county outings.

England have instead had to look elsewhere to find competition in the bowling department, with Somerset's Craig Overton called up.

Leach, who played the gutsy support role at Headingley when Ben Stokes produced his match-winning century, said England would be fully focused for the rest of the series after enjoying a short break from camp.

Players have been free to return home and spend time with friends and family, and Leach told BBC Radio 5 Live: "You want to be excited and refreshed going to Old Trafford – that's the most important thing for the guys.

"I’m sure Rooty [captain Root] and Trev [coach Trevor Bayliss] will be sending that message to us on Sunday evening, when we're meeting up, and on Monday at training we’ve got to be right on the money.

"The celebrations after Headingley, not from us but from the rest of the country, it feels like it’s the end and we've won the Ashes. But that’s not the case. It's 1-1 and there's two games to go.

"Australia are a good side and they're well up for this and we know they're going to come back hard and we’ve got to be ready for that."

Related items

  • Kohli hails 'great' appointment as Ganguly named BCCI boss Kohli hails 'great' appointment as Ganguly named BCCI boss

    Sourav Ganguly has been named the new president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

    The legendary batsman was elected after a general body meeting on Wednesday.

    Ganguly was India captain from 2000 to 2005 and guided them to the final of the 2003 Cricket World Cup.

    He is sixth on the all-time list of Test run-scorers for India with 7,212, and his 11,363 runs in ODIs rank ninth on the international all-time list.

    "I congratulated him. It's great that he has become BCCI president," said India captain Virat Kohli.

    Wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha added: "I hope players will immensely benefit after Dada [Ganguly] takes up the new role.

    "He has represented the country for a long time and then went on to dominate Indian cricket first as a player then captain.

    "He can bring about a lot of improvements as he knows the game inside out. If something is not happening, Dadi can make it happen."

  • Ferguson to return for New Zealand XI against England Ferguson to return for New Zealand XI against England

    Lockie Ferguson will make a timely return from injury for a New Zealand XI in two Twenty20 warm-up matches against England.

    The paceman has been out of action since suffering a fractured thumb training in Sri Lanka last month.

    Ferguson is now fully fit and will face Eoin Morgan's side in a team captained by Colin Munro at Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln on Sunday and next Tuesday.

    He said: "The thumb has healed well and I'm looking forward to having a hit-out at Lincoln.

    "While it's obviously frustrating to be sidelined, it's actually been good to take some time to freshen up and be able to return with plenty of motivation and energy.

    "It's the beginning of a really big summer of cricket and it's exciting to be starting it against a quality England side."

    A five-match T20 series between the Black Caps and England starts in Christchurch on November 1.

  • Rugby World Cup 2019: No advantage gained from spying - Mitchell Rugby World Cup 2019: No advantage gained from spying - Mitchell

    John Mitchell wished New Zealand good luck if they want to spy on England ahead of the Rugby World Cup semi-final but says it would not give them an advantage.

    England head coach Eddie Jones claimed someone was spotted filming England's training session on Tuesday.

    Jones said it may have been a Japanese fan seen in an apartment overlooking the pitch, but admitted he used to spy on opponents.

    Defence coach Mitchell does not believe the All Blacks would gain anything from seeing how England were preparing for a titanic battle in Yokohama City on Saturday.

    "If that is what they want to do, and that is the way they want to prepare, good luck to them," the New Zealander said.

    He added: "We just happened to be training where there are apartments above our tiny two-metre fence, so I am not sure about what the use of the tarpaulins are.

    "The facilities have been excellent but it's an area where people live and there is the odd red light around. There was one up in the corner, which was a bit suspicious.

    "It doesn't really worry me. This game is so dynamic now so I don't see any advantage in spying on a team."

    Mitchell revealed spying is not uncommon at the highest level of rugby.

    "When I took over the All Blacks in 2001 we had a manager who was highly military and he loved surveying the whole area," he said.

    "To me, you can get too involved in it and create an anxiety in your group. There is enough pressure at this level without chasing around some blokes that might be in a building with a camera.

    "I was with Sir Clive Woodward when we were going for a Grand Slam against Scotland and we chased somebody from one of the papers around the corner and caught him in a hedge.

    "He was pretty unlucky actually but that was when the game was a lot different to what it is now. I've seen coaches spy, I've had other coaches spy. I've had mates spy as well, but I don't see any advantage."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.