Kumble, Warne welcome England's Anderson to '600 club'

By: AFP      Published: 10:34 PM, 25 Aug, 2020
Kumble, Warne welcome England's Anderson to '600 club'
England's James Anderson is congratulated by Pakistan players on reaching 600 Test wickets after play on the fifth day of the third Test. AFP

Bowling greats Anil Kumble and Shane Warne welcomed James Anderson to the elite group of players who have taken 600 Test wickets as tributes to the England star poured in from around the cricketing world on Tuesday.

Anderson become the first fast bowler to reach the landmark when he had Pakistan's Azhar Ali caught by Joe Root on the final day of the third Test at Southampton.

He joins a trio of retired spinners -- Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan (800), Australia's Warne (708) and India's Kumble (619).

"Congratulations @jimmy9 on your 600 wickets! Massive effort from a great fast bowler. Welcome to the club," Kumble tweeted.

Former Australia leg-spinner Warne said it was a "proud moment" for the England bowler.

"It's an outstanding achievement from Jimmy Anderson, and his longevity, and he should be extremely proud of what he has just done -- 156 Test matches is a lot of games," he said on Sky Sports.

Anderson's achievement has been 17 years and 156 appearances in the making, a journey that started when he dismissed Zimbabwe's Mark Vermeulen in 2003.

England paceman Stuart Broad, who has long been Anderson's strike partner, hailed his team-mate's longevity.

"You can't really put it into words, it's just phenomenal," Broad told the BBC.

"He has got better with age and is someone who has inspired me throughout my career, watching him. 

"The last five years in particular, since leaving South Africa in 2016, he's just gone from strength to strength. He's a role model to follow for every English cricketer and young cricketer coming through."

Former Australia star Glenn McGrath has the second-most Test wickets by a fast bowler, with 563.

Hailing Anderson's landmark, McGrath told the BBC: "Absolutely incredible, I'm a big fan of Jimmy's. Just the fact he's still playing now, in his 156th Test match, which in itself is just incredible.

"The rigours, the stresses that fast bowlers put on their body day in day out, to turn around and front up and just work your backside off is just absolutely incredible.

"Looking through my career, the two that really stand out skill-wise is Jimmy and Wasim Akram. What they can do with the ball, to swing it both ways, it's a real art form."

Andrew Strauss, a former England captain and ex-teammate of Anderson's, told Sky Sports: "You look at that career, you look at that achievement and it is just extraordinary. 

"James Anderson, himself, wouldn't believe it if you had said that a few years ago you would get to 600 Test wickets, you would play 156 Test matches and get 29 five-wicket hauls. 

"There is still plenty of life in the old dog yet. It doesn't look like he is going anywhere. A great moment for him."

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