‘Burnley Express’ James Anderson was one of six nominees for the BBC’s prestigious Sports Personality of the Year Award on Sunday night.
And while Anderson missed out on a top-three placing, as Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas emerged triumphant, it was fitting recognition for the most successful fast bowler in Test history.
The 36-year-old, 15 years after making his debut for England, passed Australian great Glenn McGrath’s previous record of 563 Test wickets against India in September.
On his debut, against Zimbabwe at Lord’s, he claimed his first five-wicket haul, and has gone on to become only the second bowler to take 100 wickets at the venue.
He has 26 Test and two One Day International five-wicket hauls in his career, including three 10-wicket Test hauls.
Anderson has played for England in more than 100 Test matches and is approaching 200 ODI appearances.
Anderson still has three bowlers ahead of him in the all-time wicket list.
Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan is top of the pile with 800 wickets, followed by Australia’s Shane Warne (708) and India’s Anil Kumble (619).
Speaking about how much longer he can go on for, Anderson said: “I don’t really think about it.
“I play my best when I focus on what’s ahead of me, the next game, the next series, whatever.
“I read something that Glenn McGrath said that he went into the 2006 Ashes with no intention of retiring and by the end of it he thought his time was up. That could happen to me. Who knows?
“I don’t like looking too far ahead. I don’t think it helps me or the team either, when we look too far ahead, whether it’s in a session or a day or a game. If you look too far ahead you take your eye off the here and now and that’s what I like to focus on.”