James Anderson is honoured to have the pavilion end at Old Trafford named after him – and has his eye on more heroics on the pitch before he is done for England.
This country’s leading Test wicket-taker will receive a presentation from Lancashire chairman David Hodgkiss in front of the pavilion before start of play on day one of the fourth Investec Test against South Africa.
The evergreen 35-year-old seamer described himself as “blown away” by the gesture from his lifelong club, which will mean he and Brian Statham – Lancashire’s other great fast bowler, already similarly remembered – share an end each at their home ground.
Anderson noted such honours are usually bestowed after retirement.
But as he prepared to help Joe Root’s hosts close out a 3-1 series victory this week, he made clear he still has plenty of ambitions for England – including in next winter’s Ashes.
“It is something that usually happens when people have stopped playing or are further down the line,” said Anderson.
“So to have this happen when I’m still playing and potentially bowling from that end in the game is a bit surreal.
“It is just an amazing honour, especially because of the link I have with this club and the love I have for the club,” he said.
“I’ve been here for 15 years – and longer than that if you count the years I’ve been supporting the club.
“I’m blown away, really, by the gesture from the club…I can’t quite believe it has happened.”
As for his England future, Anderson spelled out that Ashes victory next winter is already on his mind.
He added: “In years to come, I’m sure I’ll look back (at this) with great fondness – but right now I still have things to achieve…personally and with this team. I’d like to win the Ashes again.
“I think this team can achieve great things in the next couple of years, and I’d like to be around to be a part of it and help the team improve.
“For me, that’s what keeps me going and keeps me hungry to keep playing the game.”
Root has no doubt Anderson remains a major asset to his England team.
“He is as good as ever,” the Yorkshireman said of the Lancastrian.
“To have someone like that to go to when you are under the pump, when you want someone to change the game, is invaluable.”
South Africa will make a late decision on their own lynchpin seamer Vernon Philander’s fitness for the must-win last match of their long tour.
Philander has recovered from the stomach bug which laid him low at The Oval last week, but is suffering instead with a back spasm.