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Rob Key reveals how James Anderson’s retirement decision was reached

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LONDON: England men’s teams managing director Rob Key on Monday, disclosed how veteran pacer James Anderson’s decision to retire from Test cricket was reached.

Key appeared in the BBC’s Test Match Special podcast and shared he, England Test captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum wanted to talk with the pacer and thus convinced him to meet in person.

“When we made the decision and we thought, ‘OK, we need to go and meet Jimmy and discuss the future’, Brendon came to the conclusion that the right thing to do was to fly over to England [from New Zealand],” Key told the BBC’s Test Match Special podcast.

“The three of us went up to see him: myself and Brendon caught the train up from London, and Stokesy was in Manchester, getting ready to fly out to America for a family holiday.

Rob Key further shared that James Anderson was not expecting the discussion about his retirement.

“We all met Jimmy in a hotel near the station and we had a conversation for about an hour and a half, which Baz led. I don’t think Jimmy was expecting it, but I don’t think it was completely unexpected.”

“We just sort of said, ‘Look, I think it’s time for us to move on.’ We’re coming to a stage now where we’ve got to start looking towards the future… people now need the opportunity to learn how to bowl with that new ball, to go through a day’s worth of Test cricket and then realise they’ve got to back it up the next day. Now’s the time that people have to start learning that,” Key said.

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For the unversed, England’s veteran pacer James Anderson announced Saturday that he will retire from Test cricket this summer.

“Hi everyone. Just a note to say that the first Test of the summer at Lord’s will be my last Test,” stated Anderson.

“It’s been an incredible 20 years representing my country, playing the game I’ve loved since I was a kid. I’m going to miss walking out for England so much. But I know the time is right to step aside and let others realise their dreams just like I got to, because there is no greater feeling.

“I couldn’t have done it without the love and support of Daniella, Lola, Ruby and my parents. A huge thank you to them. Also, thank you to the players and coaches who have made this the best job in the world.

“I’m excited for the new challenges that lie ahead, as well as filling my days with even more golf.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported me over the years, it’s always meant a lot, even if my face often doesn’t show it.

“See you at the Test, go well.”

James Anderson is the only pacer in history to take 700 Test wickets. He achieved the milestone during England’s fifth away Test against India, in March this year.

He is also the third in the list of players with the most Test wickets, only behind spinners Muttiah Muralitharan (800 wickets) of Sri Lanka and the late Shane Warne (708 wickets) of Australia.

READ: AB de Villiers extends best wishes to retiring James Anderson

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