Week 16: Hero – Jimmy Anderson

by Ray_North on April 19, 2015

hero_iconThis week’s hero is the English fast bowler Jimmy Anderson.

There is something amazing about the sight of a fast bowler running up to the crease, all lithe and sinewy, face contorted, legs and arms pumping as he prepares to propel the cricket ball at speeds of up to 90mph at the stricken batsman.

At it’s best fast bowling is almost balletic, a thing of sporting beauty and those who do it most successfully are amongst the most talented athletes in the world – after all, bowling fast, is not just about running up and chucking it as hard as you can, any brute can do that: it’s about propelling it to the exact place that you know the batsman will find it most difficult to dispatch it away from the wickets.

Jimmy Anderson has been an England international test bowler since May 2003 – that’s 12 years of test cricket, this in itself is worthy of hero status, because the wear and tear on a bowler is phenomenon, most have a few good seasons before the back, the knees and toes give way. Indeed Anderson’s particular technique (he bowls with his head down, putting all the strain right down his spine), prompted a few experts to suggest that his career would be a short one.

They were wrong – even though Jimmy has had his problems as well, he as dropped a couple of times in his early career, because his action was deemed suspect – but, undeterred, he worked on it and returned a better, more ferocious bowler, and this week, when his near perfect delivery had the West Indies skipper Ramdin caught at slip, he became the leading English wicket taker of all time – surpassing Sir Ian Botham’s 383. It was a monumental achievement – he is a true hero.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike Killingworth April 19, 2015 at 9:31 pm

He’s also a gentleman, methinks.

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Richard Clift April 20, 2015 at 7:26 am

A gentlemen and a Lancastrian, what’s not to like!

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