Ex-Lancashire wicketkeeper Warren Hegg believes former teammate James Anderson is in good company after joining England’s exclusive bowling club.
Anderson became only the fourth Englishman to reach 300 Test Match wickets during the first Investec Test against the touring New Zealanders at Lord’s.
And Hegg, who skippered Lancashire between 2002 and 2004 when a young Anderson was making his mark on the cricket scene, insists he was always destined for stardom.
“It’s a fantastic achievement to join such esteemed company as Sir Ian Botham, Bob Willis and Fred Trueman in the 300-club and Jimmy should be very proud,” he told MM.
“You could always see he was going to be a class act – he was one of the few bowlers who could take the ball away from the right-hander consistently.
“And that was on any wicket, whether the ball was new or old, and that’s always a great weapon for a fast bowler to have in their armoury.
“His sheer pace and aggressive nature was a good recipe for a fast bowler also so I’m not surprised he has done this, he showed talent from an early age.”
Anderson currently has 303 Test wickets to his name, only four behind legendary Yorkshire paceman Trueman.
And with Headingley the venue for England’s next clash with the Black Caps, Hegg appreciates the irony should the 30-year-old pass Trueman’s record at the home of Yorkshire cricket.
“A Lancastrian knocking a Yorkshireman off his perch in his own backyard would be interesting, especially someone with the character and reputation of Fred Trueman,” he added.
“I don’t think you could meet two differing personalities though – Jimmy is a reserved and quiet lad while Fred was very enigmatic. It will certainly be intriguing.”
Anderson has made two LV=County Championship appearances for the Red Rose so far this season after the ECB released him for the games against Kent and Glamorgan.
And despite remaining unbeaten in four-day cricket and sitting third in the table, Hegg, who now works for the club, believes Lancashire are yet to show their full potential after a number of tense encounters.
“We have been under the cosh at times this season but it’s a mark of a good team to win when not playing well,” he added.
“It can be likened to Manchester United getting scruffy one-nil wins when not at their best.
“That was evident in Sunday’s win over Surrey in the Yorkshire Bank 40 when theoretically we didn’t have enough runs but kept going and managed to get the points.
“And that has been the case in a few games over the last couple of weeks since losing to Durham, not the best performances in the world but we have got results.”
The 45-year-old finished his career behind the stumps with 951 first-class dismissals and won a string of domestic honours during his time at Emirates Old Trafford.
Despite a number of close calls, the only trophy to elude Hegg – who won two international caps during England’s 1998/99 tour of Australia – was the county championship.
And while reiterating the primary aim this season is promotion, he fully expects Lancashire to mount a serious silverware challenge across all formats of the game.
“It was disappointing not to win the championship during my playing days having won every other domestic honour,” he said.
“I think we finished third on three occasions but just couldn’t get over that final hurdle – we probably under-achieved a little bit considering the talent in the side.
“But the main aim for the modern day team is getting back to division one although I know Peter Moores will be expecting Lancashire to compete in every competition.
“We’ve got a good, strong side and it’s up to the players to stick their hand up and put in some good performances.”
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