Former England skipper Alastair Cook wants the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to make Jimmy Anderson the bowling coach once he retires from international cricket given the “goldmine” of expertise he has, which could be passed on to the next generation.
With 168 completed Test matches and 639 wickets — the highest ever by a pace bowler — the 39-year-old Anderson is still England’s most potent bowler in the longest format of the game as he continues to shoulder the bulk of the burden in the ongoing Ashes series.
“It is obvious when he has played over 160 Tests and taken 600 wickets, but his knowledge of bowling: he is undoubtedly the most skillful seam bowler I ever played with or against,” Cook told mirror.co.uk on Saturday.
Having picked up 39 wickets at an average of 21.74 in 2021, Anderson is at the fag-end of his career, and Cook said that had he been involved with the ECB, he would be thinking about bringing Anderson into the England coaching setup.
“Someone like Jimmy Anderson, if I was involved with the ECB (I’d be) getting him. That knowledge of how to get that ball to talk, to move on flat wickets, the swinging ball, you can’t buy any of that. That is gold sat there. Would Jimmy Anderson be a bowling coach? I couldn’t see him going away on tour but him working with the up and coming players is an obvious thing for me because of his knowledge,” said Cook.
“Having gone from a 90mph swing bowler to a totally different bowler at the end of it… alongside injuries, alongside the change of actions… that is a goldmine for the future of English cricket,” added Cook.
Cook also said that he was not averse to taking up a coaching job himself, but it would not be a full-time role.
“I love the idea of it, of trying to help people out. If I can help an Essex young batsman out, give them a bit of time. The thing about coaching, to be good you’ve got to have so much time. With other stuff in my life, the farm and a young family, I can’t see myself being a full-time coach. To be any good at anything you’ve got to be fully immersed in it and I can’t see myself at this time in my life doing it. In 10-15 years’ time who knows? But the thought of helping the next generation is very appealing.”