james anderson and Michael Vaughan. Photo- Telegraph
james anderson and Michael Vaughan. Photo- Telegraph

Veteran England pacer James Anderson hit back strongly at former skipper Michael Vaughan over his comments that the fast bowler’s future after a dismal Ashes 2021-22 campaign was the ‘big elephant’ in the room.

Vaughan had also said that England needs to squeeze out as much experience from Anderson as they can and then work towards managing his retirement.

“Managing Jimmy’s retirement is going to be key to this team moving forward. His future is the big elephant in the room. It is not about sacking Jimmy. It is about what is right for English cricket. The right thing is to transition, but do it respectfully.

Michael Vaughan
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)

You can only do that by having strong conversations with Jimmy about what is going to happen. England cannot move on and be a world force with Anderson at the helm. I love watching Jimmy bowl. He is a poet with the ball in hand.

“He could still be England’s best bowler for another two years. (Former Australia bowling greats) Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath retired with one or two years of high level cricket still left in them. Just because you can still perform does not mean you should keep going on and on,” Vaughan wrote in his column for the Daily Mail UK.

Anderson recently became the second most capped Test cricketer after appearing in the fourth Ashes 2021-22 Test in Sydney, playing his 169th Test match, behind only Sachin Tendulkar, who is the only cricketer to play 200 Test matches.

My Future Is Not The “Elephant In The Room” Because The Captain And Coach Want Me To Carry On: James Anderson

Anderson, who with 640 Test wickets, is third on the list of all-time wicket-takers behind Shane Warne (708) and Muttiah Muralitharan (800). He wrote in his column in Daily Telegraph and rubbished the concerns and opinion of Michael Vaughan.

Anderson wrote in a column for the Daily Telegraph: ‘I read that my future is the “elephant in the room”. It is not the elephant in the room because the captain and coach know exactly what my thoughts are on it. They have told me their thoughts too. They want me around and to carry on. As long as that is the case, it is not an elephant in any room.

James Anderson
James Anderson (Image Credit: Twitter)

We are talking openly about it and I wrote last week that everyone’s future is in doubt. It always happens when you get beaten heavily in an Ashes series. The ECB will look at everyone’s performance throughout the tour. In that respect nobody is certain about their future whether it is the captain, coach, top six batsmen or the bowling attack. Everyone is under scrutiny.”

James Anderson has played 8 wickets in 3 Test matches in the ongoing Ashes Test with a best of 4/33 at an average of 23.37 and an economy of 1.79.

James Anderson
James Anderson (Image Credit: Twitter)

“For me, if I have the chance to play I will do my best and keep having conversations. I will keep talking to whoever about my future. I feel I can still offer something to this team and hopefully I will get the chance to do so,” Anderson added.

The fifth and final Ashes Test begins on January 14 in Hobart and will be played under lights with a pink ball.

Also Read: Ashes 2021-22: Ben Stokes Keen On Playing Fifth Test Despite Injury