James Anderson, playing for the first time since early January after being controversially omitted from the England squad for the Test series in the West Indies in March, records figures of 0-30 in an economical 16-over spell against Gloucestershire at Emirates Old Trafford
Last Updated: 21/04/22 6:59pm
James Anderson made a low-key return to action as he bowled a wicketless 16 overs for Lancashire on day one of their County Championship clash at home to Gloucestershire.
Anderson, playing for the first time since early January after being controversially omitted from the England squad for the Test series in the West Indies in March, recorded figures of 0-30 in an economical spell at Emirates Old Trafford.
The 39-year-old, England’s leading Test wicket-taker of all time with 640 scalps in 169 matches, said in February that he was “praying” his international career was not over and that he still had “a lot left to offer” and “the hunger and passion to play.”
Anderson was joined in the Lancashire side by fellow seamer Saqib Mahmood, who was one of the rare bright spots from England’s 1-0 series defeat in the West Indies as he took six wickets in two games and hit a career-best score of 49 from the No 11 spot.
Mahmood (2-44) bagged two wickets on Thursday, dismissing Marcus Harris for 67 and Gloucestershire skipper Graeme van Buuren for four.
It was Pakistan seamer Hasan Ali who was the star of the show though, claiming 6-47 as the visitors were bowled out for 252 after electing to bat first in Manchester. Lancashire closed the day on 11-1 in their first innings, with George Balderson run out for five on the stroke of stumps.
Stuart Broad – who, like Anderson, was left out of the West Indies tour – was made available for Nottinghamshire’s clash at Durham but has delayed his return until next week’s home game with Worcestershire at Trent Bridge.
Ollie Robinson (illness) and Chris Woakes (injury) are not playing for Sussex and Warwickshire respectively this week, while Durham’s Mark Wood remains on the sidelines after undergoing elbow surgery having broken down during the first Test in the Caribbean last month.
England’s first Test of the home summer is against New Zealand at Lord’s from June 2, with new managing director of men’s cricket Rob Key planning for that after being appointed over the Easter weekend.
England must select a new Test captain following Joe Root’s decision to step down after four years in charge – Ben Stokes is the strong favourite for the job – and also a head coach.
Key could split the coaching roles between red-ball and white-ball cricket as he ponders how to replace Chris Silverwood, who departed in the wake of England’s 4-0 Ashes thrashing.