Browse News

News by Competition News by Topics News by County Teams News by International Teams

Join TwelfthMan now!

Unfinished business for Anderson

James Anderson is on the brink of another major wicket-taking milestone - but it is a different type of unfinished business that interests England's premier pace bowler at the Champions Trophy.

At 30, and less than a month after becoming only the fourth Englishman to take 300 Test wickets, Anderson is level with Darren Gough's all-time national best of 234 in one-day international cricket.

Irrespective of Wednesday's NatWest Series game at Trent Bridge, a minimum of three Champions Trophy matches gives the Lancastrian obvious prospects of overtaking another pride of Yorkshire - he and Fred Trueman currently have 307 Test wickets each after his two in the second Investec Test against New Zealand at Headingley.

For Anderson, though, the opportunity to help England win a 50-over International Cricket Council global trophy for the first time in their history is far and away the primary motivation. Personal ambition is further concentrated by two other relevant factors.

Anderson, pictured, was absent from the near miss on home soil in this same competition nine years ago, when England appeared to have the silverware in the bag only to succumb to a West Indies fightback in the final at The Oval. Neither did he play a significant part in his country's only ICC tournament success to date, the 2010 World Twenty20 in the Caribbean.

Under Michael Vaughan in 2004 and then Paul Collingwood six years later, Anderson was in the England squad but surplus to requirements. He bears no grudge but his memory is long enough to want to put things right.

"There's always an incentive when you go into a competition like that," he said. "But when you get left out of teams, you always want to make the most of it when you're in them. I hope if I get picked in the team this time I can help us progress in the competition."

Anderson is being especially careful not to get ahead of himself, having seen England prefer Steve Harmison, Andrew Flintoff and Gough as their frontline pace against the Windies - all-rounder Alex Wharf providing the back-up seam - and then a successful punt on Ryan Sidebottom and his slower-ball bouncers paying off in the Caribbean.

He has long since come of age, however, as one of England's all-time great exponents of seam and swing.

It is therefore hard to see Anderson slipping down the pecking order this time in conditions likely to suit a three-man pace attack comprising himself, Steven Finn and Stuart Broad.

"It's going to be a big tournament for us," he said. "I was part of the squad for the Champions Trophy in 2004 when it was last in England. We got to the final of that and lost out unfortunately. I hope we can go one better this time.

"We've never won a 50-over ICC competition, so it's something we're looking to as a real challenge for us."

Speaking before the New Zealand series, he said: "We think we're playing really good one-day cricket at the moment. We've got an advantage of it being in England as well, so we hope we can show people how good we are.

"We've got guys in the team that have got plenty of experience in competitions like this, so we know exactly what's needed to progress. We want to prove we're a very good one-day side. I hope we can do that."

Anderson's full focus is on that goal as, asked about the record, he said: "I wasn't aware of it. I'll try and keep taking wickets and let the milestones take care of themselves.”

iPad and mobile apps

Get live scores, news, videos with ECB Cricket Live for iPad and ECB Cricket app for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Nokia

Follow us on Twitter

Stay up to date and fully informed wherever you are by following ECB_cricket on Twitter

Watch county highlights

Watch highlights from NatWest T20 Blast, County Championship, Royal London One-Day Cup action on