Lyon ‘surprised’ by Anderson retirement

Australia spinner Nathan Lyon says he is “surprised” James Anderson is retiring from Test cricket because he would still be England’s “best bowler”.

Pace bowler Anderson, 41, will end his legendary international career in the first Test against West Indies in July after the England management told him they want to look to the future.

Lyon is likely to line up alongside Anderson for Lancashire in the County Championship in the run-up to the Englishman’s final Test.

“Obviously Jimmy Anderson is in the conversation of being the greatest fast bowler of all time,” Lyon told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“Good luck to Jimmy and I look forward to playing with him at Lancashire, but I’m glad he won’t be coming out to the next Ashes.”

Anderson, England’s all-time leading wicket-taker, held talks in April with Test coach Brendon McCullum, captain Ben Stokes and managing director Rob Key.

The hierarchy’s decision to move on from Anderson is partly fuelled by a desire to plan for the next tour of Australia, in the winter of 2025-26, when Anderson will be 43.

Off-spinner Lyon sits seventh on the list of leading Test wicket-takers, four places behind Anderson, and the two have played against each other in 22 Ashes matches.

“My care factor for England is pretty low, but I was pretty surprised when I did read that they tapped him on the shoulder,” added Lyon.

“I look at James and what he’s been able to do for England cricket, it’s pretty remarkable. This is just my opinion – I still think he would be England’s best bowler.”

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