Test Match Sofa
New Lancashire contract for Anderson
By Graham Hardcastle
Jimmy Anderson has signed a new contract with Lancashire. The England bowler has penned a two-year deal at Old Trafford until the end of the 2014 season, taking his stay with the county into a 13th season.
Anderson, a winner of two Ashes series with England and hence an integral part of their journey to become the world’s number one ranked Test team, has also won the LV= County Championship title with the Red Rose county.
A member of their Division Two title success in 2005, ironically the last time the recently relegated county were in English cricket’s second tier, Anderson played two matches last season on the way to their first outright Championship title since 1934.
The 30-year-old has only played once for his county this season. And, since making his England debut 2003, the Burnley-born player has only played one full Championship campaign for Lancashire, which was in 2005.
Lancashire cricket director Mike Watkinson has played a significant role in Anderson’s development from a young tyro playing for Burnley in the Lancashire League to one of the world’s best swing bowlers having been the county’s second and first team coach.
Watkinson said: “Jimmy's somebody who's centrally contracted and we don't see much of him, but he's still very much one of our own.
“I've got great memories going back to when I was second team coach and he came out of Burnley's second team and played a game at Middleton. We were working on swing bowling with him and trying to fine tune one of his skills. He's gone on to be an outstanding cricketer in the world game. It's good that he's still going to keep that connection with us in the future.
“Jimmy is one of those players who just loves playing for Lancashire. He was really keen to play in this last game of the season (against Surrey at Liverpool). As it is, he's not really been needed.
“He gives a wholehearted performance when he's around, he trains hard when he's with us, he trains to a real intensity. It's a great example for the other players who are around. When the youngsters - the academy and the scholarship players - are nearby, they see the influence he has and how he goes about his business.
“When he's out there taking the new ball for England, there'll be Lancastrians all around thinking 'he's one of our own'. It's good for our system as well. It gives good inspiration to those players setting out thinking 'I'm a bit of a rough and ready cricketer at the moment, I've not been picked for representative squads at the moment, have I still got a chance?' Of course you have.
“Jimmy burst onto the scene late and developed his skills in the latter part of his career. He really is a very skilful bowler from somebody who you would have thought that it would have been difficult for him to reach that level.”
Anderson himself added: “I always love coming back to play for the club when my England duties permit me to, and I'm delighted to sign for another two years."
Meanwhile, the futures of two other Lancashire fast bowlers are not as certain with Ajmal Shahzad and Sajid Mahmood both out of contract at the end of this season.
Shahzad, who fell out with Yorkshire and subsequently joined Lancashire on loan in May, becomes a free agent next month. Both he and Lancashire are keen to strike a more permanent agreement, but it is understood the 27-year-old has other offers on the table.
Mahmood is also out of contract at Old Trafford this winter. Having only played three Championship matches before a recent loan spell at Somerset, a contract renewal is by no means a formality.
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