England force Jimmy Anderson to take a break
Jimmy Anderson was dropped by England yesterday, in the interests of himself and the team. The leader of the side's attack will not play in the Third Test against West Indies, which starts in Birmingham on Thursday, and the squad of 13 for the first two matches has been reduced to 12.
Thus, the worst kept secret in cricket was confirmed. Anderson told the ghost of his imminent autobiography of the decision shortly after he was informed on Friday evening. Soon, it was common knowledge.
From the comments he made to the Sunday newspaper for which he writes a column, Anderson was not exactly jumping for joy. "Nobody would volunteer to be left out of this side," he said. "Who knows what may happen in the future with injury or loss of form. This is a great team to be involved in. I think it would be hard to take if I was rested and lost my place."
England are intent on resting their players when they think fit – and 2-0 up with one to play is one of those times. But it is also evidence that England are simply playing too much cricket and have to watch their best players. With 15 Tests this year, as well as the usual limited-overs internationals, this is one match for Anderson to miss. That said, he would have had 10 days between matches had he played and almost six weeks until his next Test.
In announcing their squad, which means that Steve Finn or Graham Onions will play, the selectors said Anderson needed treatment on a quadricep during the Test and that the rest would give him a chance to overcome several minor injuries. Geoff Miller, the national selector, said: "James Anderson will miss this Test as we look to manage his workload ahead of a busy period of cricket this summer and beyond, a decision which is in the best interest of the team and James himself."
It remains possible that Stuart Broad will also be rested. If not, the Onions-Finn call is difficult. In Broad's absence Finn played the Second Test against Sri Lanka in April.
Jonny Bairstow, as expected, has retained his place at No 6. Without the injured Kemar Roach his life should be easier because the venom of the short stuff will be reduced. But the South African speed merchants will be waiting to ambush him later in the summer.
Robin van Persie to Fenerbahce: Manchester United striker 'agrees to personal terms' with Turkish side
Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs posts bizarre video of his Miami holiday being invaded by an iguana
Football kits 2015/16: The good, the bad and the downright worst new shirts from around the world for next season
Arturo Vidal to Real Madrid: Transfer news live - Sergio Ramos to Manchester United, Lukas Podolski to leave Arsenal
Chelsea 2015/16 home shirt leaked again as new picture appears online
- 1 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 2 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 3 Van driver who comforted Clark Carlisle and called 999 after suicide attempt dies age 24
- 4 James Blunt was special guest on the highest-rating Top Gear episode ever
- 5 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts