Lancashire Head Coach and Director of Cricket Ashley Giles commented on the incredible achievement of England fast bowler James Anderson after he overtook Ian Botham’s record of 383 Test wickets against West Indies.
At the signing of a Slazenger flag at Emirates Old Trafford on Thursday, the former Ashes winner and England One-Day coach spoke about what a remarkable feat Anderson had achieved and how he would not have got where he is today without plenty of hard work.
Giles, speaking as he penned a congratulation message to Anderson as part of Slazenger’s celebratory flag tour, said: “You don’t get to that level without a huge amount of skill and with that comes hard work and professionalism and he’s got that in bag loads now,” said Giles, who celebrated his first match in charge of Lancashire with a 250-run victory against Derbyshire this week.
“When he first came on the scene he was a breath of fresh air in that he was able to bowl at 90 miles an hour and swing the ball both ways and I think at times he didn’t really know how he was doing it.
Over time he has become more and more professional, knows his skill inside out and that has got him to where he is, a record-breaker and one of the best swing bowlers in the world,”
The Lancashire coach represented England in the early stages of Anderson’s international career and reflected on how his talent, even at a young age, took people by surprise. “I played with him on his [England] debut and he had raw pace but he also swung the ball prodigiously and those are x-factor qualities. If you’re bowling 90 miles an hour and swinging it both ways, you’re going to be a handful for any batsman.
“There are times in your career when there will be people who doubt you and think that you are passed it and now suddenly he has been immoratlised by breaking the world record.”
Giles then had the opportunity to coach England’s One-Day squad, as Anderson continued to prove his potential in limited-overs cricket, helping England to series victories against West Indies and Australia in 2012.
“When I took over as one-day coach I loved having him in the team because he is actually a very mature and professional man and he has a lot of good stuff to say when he talks and young guys listen. He is very knowledgeable and if you think about the amount of cricket he has played he knows what he is talking about.
“He was excellent with me and I’m slightly surprised that he hasn’t found himself in a leadership position, whether it be vice-captain or whatever it may be, because of how much experience he has.”
Giles started his tenure as Lancashire coach with a win at Derbyshire in the County Championship and was delighted to start the season with such a commanding victory. “It’s a great start for the whole team because you do a lot of through the winter and you talk a lot and you put hard yards in and you need to translate that into performances.
“I thought the all-round performance of the team at Derby was extremely good in that there were contributions from a lot of guys, not just a couple. All the way down they fought when it was difficult, when they had opportunities to make an impact they did and ultimately it was a tricky game because Derby played well.
“It was a good toss to win for them and it was tricky that first morning, but to come through that with a convincing victory with a lot of guys getting confidence under their belts, I’m over the moon.”
Former England international Ashley Giles was signing Slazenger’s ‘Congratulations Jimmy’ flag which will be touring the country this week. Slazenger is celebrating Jimmy Anderson becoming England’s all time leading test wicker by giving 10% off its entire cricket range. Visit store.slazenger.com and follow @SlazengerSport for more details.