The Anderson I knew

MS Dhillon

One tremendous day in November 2003, whereas having lunch on the Cricket Club in Colombo, I acquired a name from my hospital {that a} younger English quick bowler wanted my consideration, as he appeared to have injured his ankle. On seeing the affected person, a quiet younger man simply beginning his profession, I discovered James Anderson to be a considerably shy man, with a self-effacing angle however nice health. Little did I do know that this tall, smiling man would go on to change into one of many all-time greats of quick bowling!

In 2003 I met worldwide cricketers resulting from my positioning as a sports activities drugs marketing consultant in Apollo Hospital in Colombo, as I used to be already treating Sri Lankan greats like Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas. The English group had simply arrived for a three-Test tour and included some children being groomed as quick bowlers.


When bowling coach Ashley Giles introduced Jimmy Anderson to my consulting chambers, he attracted no consideration within the hospital since nobody knew him; as a matter of truth, neither did I, and the three of us went unnoticed whereas strolling round getting the mandatory X-ray and assessments performed for his injured ankle. The irony of the state of affairs was that Jimmy had injured his ankle whereas taking part in squash, not cricket! When knowledgeable by me that he was in all probability not going to play the primary Test match, the sense of gloom that enveloped him was really palpable! This was a formative stage of his profession, and was fearful that others would take his place. Now all that appears unbelievable, him having change into the primary quick bowler to take 600 wickets, regardless of many damage scares alongside the highway.

Ashley and Jimmy invited me to the group reception the following evening on the Taj Samudra, hosted by the British ambassador, and in a quiet nook of the loud nightclub, I counselled Jimmy over a beer. My try to buck him up was really wasted, as throughout that discuss I realised that this was a younger man who not solely had stars in his eyes, however a steely dedication to get to the highest. Even then he was centered on fast-tracking his rehab course of, in order that he would be certain of inclusion within the second Test!


The Jimmy Anderson I met in 2003 was certain of 1 factor — he would get to the highest and keep there until his physique gave approach. Seventeen years later, there appears to be no lack of that want, nor any flagging of his physique. If you have a look at his bowling stats, his bowling common has improved considerably from 34.eight at 100 wickets to 24.7 at 600 wickets. The man, like good wine, appears to get higher with age.

I’m proud to have been related to two of the best bowlers of all time; Muralitharan, the best spinner, and Anderson, the best quickie. Both have similarities in that regardless of being all the way down to earth, they’ve the tenacity and the drive to change into the very best on the earth.

The author is Head of Department of Orthopaedics, PGIMER, Chandigarh

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