James Anderson shares pride at cricket returning to Emirates Old Trafford
The fast bowler praised the Club's "hard work" in redeveloping the ground as England prepare to face the West Indies in a three-match Test series
Lancashire stalwart Jimmy Anderson says he is “immensely proud” of the Club for staging behind-closed-doors internationals at Emirates Old Trafford this summer.
The home of Lancashire Cricket is set to stage the second and third Tests against West Indies, pending UK Government approval.
West Indies arrived into Manchester Airport on Tuesday morning and are undergoing their quarantine period in the on-site Hilton Garden Inn hotel, while using the facilities to prepare for the three-match series.
For Anderson, who is only 16 wickets away from becoming the fourth man to reach 600 Test wickets, it will be a return to his home ground for competitive cricket after spending the last few weeks training at Emirates Old Trafford before moving to Chester Boughton Hall CC with the ground now under lockdown.
And the fast bowler is hugely thankful to the Club and the board’s vision for a redevelopment of the ground in the last ten years, which has provided the springboard to be able to stage such games this summer.
“I think it’s great for the Club to be able to put international cricket on in such a strange time,” he said.
“It means all the hard work that’s been put in over the last few years getting the ground up to speed, getting the hotel put in and now it’s a bio-secure cricket ground, which I don’t think Lancashire thought that term would ever be used to describe it.
“It’s brilliant they can help and a lot of work over the last few years has paid off.”
Anderson has not played competitively since being forced out of the South Africa tour earlier this year through injury, but footage of him training last week went viral as he bowled with incredible control and movement at Emirates Old Trafford.
The 37-year-old says he is back “enjoying himself” upon his returning to training and expects England to manage all of the fast bowlers’ workloads with three matches within such a short period of time.
Above all, he is excited about the return of Test cricket.
“At the minute I’m enjoying myself, enjoying being back and feeling really good.
“I managed to tick over quite well in lockdown. I’m lucky that I’ve got the space to fit half of my run up in the drive so I’ve been ticking over, so when I came back to bowling at Lancashire I’ve been going in cold and it felt like I’ve hit the ground well.
“There are concerns about not having had any competitive cricket before that first Test match and then having three matches in quick succession, so there are things we need to look at in terms of workload.
“I’m sure the medical staff and coaches will do their due diligence.
“It’s brilliant we’re closing in on Test cricket being played after a decent lay-off. From our point of view, we’re very grateful the West Indies are coming over here.
“With what’s going on in the world, I imagine it’s a scary decision for all of them to make the journey over, so we’re hugely grateful.”