Former England cricketer Mark Butcher on Thursday opened up on his first impression of legendary pacer James Anderson, who is currently playing his final international match during the first Test against West Indies at Lord’s following over two decades of service to English cricket. Anderson is playing his final international gamer as England take on the West Indies in the series opener from July 10. With 701 wickets in 187 Test matches, Anderson currently stands third among the highest wicket-takers in the longest format and is the first among all fast bowlers.

Speaking about a young Anderson, who made his international debut back in 2002 and played his first Test against Zimbabwe in 2003 at Lord’s, Butcher, who also featured in Anderson’s debut Test, said during the Wisden Cricket Monthly podcast, that the youngster’s coloured, spiked hair were the only “loud thing” about him, otherwise, the pacer was very “quiet and shy”.

“The hair was kind of the only loud thing about him, really. Very, very quiet, very, very shy, kept himself to himself. And of course, he was incredibly young as well. So barring the hair, you would barely have noticed him,” recalled Butcher.

Recalling his bowling against Australia in an ODI at Adelaide early in his career, Butcher said that Anderson had “terrific control and movement”.

“The fact that 21 years later, he is still doing it is something that nobody would have been able to have predicted from back then,” he added.

Butcher said that Anderson was a lot quicker early in his career and he made up for any loss in his pace with his incredible skill with the ball.

“Going back to that Test match in 2003 (against Zimbabwe), he bowled some incredible deliveries, you know. Turning batters into an S, starting the ball on and outside the leg stump and hitting the top of off, that type of thing, all at a really good lick. We felt as though, wow, you have got a really talented kid here. But of course, he was stick thin and very, very young. And so the thought was perhaps that he is probably going to snap in two at some point and never to be seen again. That did happen, but the never to be seen again part did not,” he concluded.


He made his debut in the Test format against Zimbabwe at The Lord’s in 2003, and he will bid farewell to fans as a player at the same venue. His 6/17 against Pakistan in the first Test in 2010 at Trent Bridge still echoes the prowess of his remarkable career.

He has also taken 269 wickets in 194 ODIs for England and 18 wickets in 19 T20Is.

Coming to the match, England won the toss and elected to field first. West Indies lost wickets at regular intervals and never really got a breather. Mikyle Louis (27 in 58 balls), Kavem Hodge (24 in 48 balls) and Alick Athanaze (23 in 56 balls) did the bulk of scoring as Windies was skittled out for 121 runs in 41.4 overs.

Besides the seven-fer by Atkinson (7/45), James Anderson, skipper Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes also got a wicket each.


In their first innings, England has crossed the 300-run mark and have a 200-plus run-lead in the game, with Jamie Smith and Chris Woakes at the crease.


West Indies (Playing XI): Kraigg Brathwaite(c), Mikyle Louis, Kirk McKenzie, Alick Athanaze, Kavem Hodge, Joshua Da Silva(w), Jason Holder, Gudakesh Motie, Alzarri Joseph, Shamar Joseph, Jayden Seales

England (Playing XI): Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes(c), Jamie Smith(w), Chris Woakes, Gus Atkinson, Shoaib Bashir, James Anderson.

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