James Anderson ‘set to retire’ from Test cricket this summer after Brendon McCullum talks

James Anderson is England’s record wicket-taker (Martin Rickett/PA) (PA Archive)
James Anderson is England’s record wicket-taker (Martin Rickett/PA) (PA Archive)

James Anderson will retire from Test cricket at the end of the summer, bringing an end to a 22-year-long career.

Anderson will turn 42 in July and recently became the first fast bowler to take 700 wickets, and only the third bowler ever to do so, in the final Test match of England’s 4-1 series defeat in India.

The seamer has played more Tests for England than any other player, with 187 and only has this summer to try and overtake Shane Warne’s record for 709 Test wickets.

England head coach Brendon McCullum flew from New Zealand to tell Anderson over a round of golf that England would be looking to the future and his international career would come to an end this year, the Guardian has reported.

As ever with English cricket, the focus has already shifted to the next Ashes series in Australia, and that will be the focus for McCullum as he looks to build a new seam attack for that series, by which point Anderson would be 43.

England play six Test matches this summer against the West Indies and Sri Lanka, including one in late August at Anderson’s home ground of Old Trafford, which could be his last and final Test.

Anderson’s long-term partner Stuart Broad bowed out in fairytale fashion, taking the final wicket as England fought back from 2-0 behind to draw the Ashes. His electrifying career came to a fitting end in front of a sold-out Oval, but Anderson, four years Broad’s senior, showed no signs of stopping.

For the last decade it has been inconceivable to think of an England side without Anderson leading the line, and although McCullum’s focus might have shifted, there is no clear bowler waiting in the wings to take up his mantle.

The England head coach has preferred express pace, but Josh Tongue, Gus Atkinson and Brydon Carse are new to the international Test scene and have yet to prove their worth at the highest level.