England bowler James Anderson has said becoming the nation’s record Test wicket-taker has yet to “sink in” as he was awarded an OBE.
Anderson wrote his name into the history books last year when he eclipsed Sir Ian Botham’s milestone of 383 wickets and became England’s most prolific bowler of all time.
The achievement has set the seal on a career that has seen him become an important weapon in England’s bowling attack and helped secure some memorable Test victories.
Speaking about receiving the honour from the Prince of Wales during a Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony, the sportsman said: “It’s amazing, I feel very fortunate to have made a career out of cricket.
“Obviously I’ve played for England for over 10 years and to be recognised for that is really special for me and a huge honour for myself and my family.”
The Lancastrian, known widely as the Burnley Express, has gone on to amass more than 430 Test wickets but still has not come to terms with becoming the leading wicket-taker, a moment that came during a Caribbean tour last spring.
He said: “It was a real surreal moment for me, obviously Sir Ian Botham is someone I’ve looked up to as a child growing up - and to pass him, it still hasn’t sunk in yet.
“Again, I’m just lucky I’ve managed to play the game long enough to be able to overtake him and contribute to English cricket as I have.”
England are riding high after winning a Test series against South Africa last month, beating the team on their home soil.
Anderson praised the players and management, saying: “We’ve got an exciting team at the moment. Obviously some young guys have come in during the last 12 months, a bit of a transitional phase for us, and I think when that happens the results aren’t always going to be consistent but I think we’re moving in the right direction.
“The new coach Trevor Bayliss has been brilliant in helping the younger guys settle into the team and perform at their best.”