James Anderson OBE put his name in the pantheon of great all-time Test bowlers during 2020, becoming the first fast bowler in history to reach 600 Test match wickets.
The moment came during the last day of the drawn third Test against Pakistan at The Ageas Bowl, Hampshire, having Azhar Ali caught at slip to join Muttiah Muralitharan, Shane Warne and Anil Kumble in reaching the incredible milestone.
Coming at the age of 38, Anderson's Test match statistics have only improved with age and he looks a sure bet to add plenty more wickets to that total, with another Ashes tour Down Under looming for the Three Lions in 2021/22.
'Jimmy' earlier joined the 500-wicket club in Test Matches for England during the summer of 2017, shortly after having the Pavilion End at Emirates Old Trafford named after him.
He hit the 500 mark by bowling West Indies opener Kraigg Brathwaite during the Lord's Test in September of 2017 and went past Glenn McGrath’s tally of 563, previously the most for a fast bowler, during the Test series win over India in 2018.
He is fourth on the all-time wicket-takers list in Test cricket behind spinners Anil Kumble, Shane Warne and former Lancashire team mate Muttiah Muralitharan.
In getting there, the 35-year-old was awarded the ICC's number one ranking for a Test bowler, with his mastery of seam and swing unrivalled.
In fact, no other current bowler has more wickets than Anderson, nicknamed the Burnley Express.
Anderson is a three-time Ashes winner, the first of which coincided with him being named as one of Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year in 2009.
He also won the County Championship title with the Red Rose in 2011. Despite all of his achievements in international cricket, it was one of his proudest moments.
Anderson debuted for Lancashire during the final month of the 2001 season. He went on to take 50 First-Class wickets in his first full domestic campaign the following summer, including nine in a landslide Championship win over Somerset at Blackpool’s Stanley Park.
That form earned the then 20-year-old a place on an England Academy (now known as Performance Programme) tour to Australia during the winter.
And, after a few injuries in the main England party, he was awarded his One-Day international debut against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground that December.
He bowled wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist, capping a remarkable rise which had seen him play only three One-Day matches for Lancashire prior to that day. Less than four months earlier, he had even been playing Lancashire League cricket for Burnley.
His performances Down Under earned him a place in England’s ICC Cricket World Cup squad in early 2003, with him taking a stunning 4-29 against Pakistan at Cape Town.
Anderson has since featured in the 2007, 2011 and 2015 World Cups.
He was awarded his first central contract by England shortly after taking five wickets on Test debut against Zimbabwe at Lord’s in the summer of 2003, also adding to his growing reputation with a One-Day hat-trick against South Africa.
In 2004, Anderson took 10 wickets in a First-Class match for the first time, putting Worcestershire to the sword.
Anderson’s international career lost momentum for a while through form and injury.
He suffered a stress fracture of the back, ruling him out of the majority of the 2006 summer, and it came immediately before a forgettable Ashes tour.
But he bounced back and enjoyed a productive 2008 against New Zealand and South Africa under the guidance of his future Lancashire coach Peter Moores.
Having got the Moores era at Lancashire off to a flying start with 10 wickets against Sussex at Hove in early 2009, he picked up the aforementioned Wisden honour and went onto win the 2009 home Ashes series.
He also took 24 wickets against the Aussies in a 3-1 away series success in 2010/11 and was the leading wicket-taker. It was England’s first Test series success Down Under in 24 years.
Not content with that, he terrorised the Indians with 21 wickets in the summer of 2011 as England became the best Test team in the world.
His Championship appearances for Lancashire came against Warwickshire at Edgbaston and Yorkshire at Liverpool, and he picked up a winner’s medal from Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace later in the year.
Anderson, Lancashire’s beneficiary in 2012, started the summer by being awarded the Freedom of Burnley.
He took 12 wickets in the away Test series win against India later in the year, scooping the Man-of-the-Series award in the process as England’s 2-1 success was their first series win there since 1985.
Not only is Anderson England’s leading Test wicket-taker, he is also top of their list in all international cricket, and he went beyond Botham’s tally of 529 during an ODI against New Zealand in February 2013.
He was part of the 3-0 home Ashes win in 2013, but England went Down Under and lost 5-0 during the winter immediately afterwards - the same scoreline as 2006/7.
It was sweet revenge in the summer of 2015 when England won another home series 3-2.
Later in the summer, Anderson recorded his best innings figures in a Lancashire shirt - 7-77 in a Championship match against Essex at Chelmsford.
Anderson has not played a limited-overs international since March 2015, although a haul of 269 ODI wickets puts him top of England’s all-time list.
In the summer of 2017, Anderson took 39 wickets in seven Tests, including a career best of 7-42 against the West Indies in that aforementioned record-breaking Test.
What followed was another ill-fated Ashes tour Down Under, with Anderson one of few players to emerge with credit as he took a team-high 17 wickets, bowling 223.3 overs in the series – the biggest workload he has ever had in a series.
The paceman was England’s leading bowler in the aforementioned summer home series’ against Pakistan and India, and he followed a quiet tour of Sri Lanka by tying Sir Ian Botham’s record of five-wicket hauls for England in Test matches – 27 – in the West Indies during the New Year.
In preparation for the 2019 Ashes series, Anderson became a key part of Lancashire’s Specsavers County Championship side in the early season. Ripping through all of Division Two’s batting orders, he took 30 wickets in just six matches at an average of less than ten per wicket. He also played a key role in the run to the Royal London One-Day Cup semi-final.
After sustaining an injury against Durham at Sedbergh, he faced a race against time to be fit or the Ashes and was eventually ruled out of the series following the first Test. In the winter, he surpassed Sir Ian Botham’s five-wicket haul record in the second Test against South Africa, before going on to break the 600 barrier later that summer.
At the end of 2020, he was named in the ICC's Test Team of the Decade as voted for by a specialist panel combined with the results of an international public vote.