The great Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka believes James Anderson of England has set a record that will be “Jimmy’s alone” after becoming the first paceman to take 600 Test wickets. Anderson, 38, made history when he had Pakistani captain Azhar Ali caught in a slip by English skipper Joe Root in the drawn third Test in Southampton on Tuesday. MCC Chairman Sangakkara said in an email to club members published Saturday that Anderson’s achievement was “a joyous moment for all ages” and “an exceptional achievement.” “Jimmy is a fast bowler of tremendous skill and determination,” added 42-year-old Sangakkara, a former Sri Lankan captain.
“His achievement is enormous, not only because of the fact that it is 600 wickets, but also because of what that means in terms of effort, dedication and reinvention.”
The only bowlers for Anderson in the all-time list of Test wicket-takers are three retired spinners: Muttiah Muralitharan from Sri Lanka (800), Shane Warne from Australia (708) and Anil Kumble (619) from India.
And of the three other fast bowlers who have completed more than 500 test wickets, only Anderson’s long-standing English new-ball colleague Stuart Broad (514 wickets) is still an active cricketer, with Australian Glenn McGrath (563) and West- Indian Courtney Walsh (519) who have long since hung their boots.
“He has set a record for current and future pacers to chase, but it may be just one record that will only belong to Jimmy and Jimmy,” said Sangakkara, a former wicket-keeper-batsman who appeared in 134 Tests and Sri’s captain. Lanka was on when they lost the 2011 World Cup final to India in Mumbai.
“It has been my great privilege to play against him and I now share with you the pleasure of watching him from outside the boundary cord as long as he continues.”
Sangakkara is the first overseas president in the 233-year history of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the owners of London’s Lord’s cricket ground.
Traditionally, MCC presidents serve only one year.
But with no internationals playing at Lord’s, the home of cricket in 2020 due to Covid-19 – Saturday the first game of the season will take place on the ground when Middlesex plays against Kent in an England Twenty20 – Sangakkara has extended his tenure by 12 months.
“I want to thank you (MCC membership) for your support in extending my term as president,” Sangakkara wrote in confirmation.
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