During the second day of the ongoing Boxing Day Test, Lancashire's Jimmy Anderson passed two impressive milestones.
Not only did the Burnley Express pass 600 first-class wickets, he also passed 600 international wickets in an England shirt.
The special Melbourne Cricket Ground is a fitting place for this special cricketer to celebrate such achievements.
In fact, his international career has come full circle because his first scalp in an England shirt was Adam Gilchrist in a one-day international there in December, 2002.
This Ashes tour has been far from plain sailing for England and Anderson, but the 31-year-old hit back with 3-50 from 16 overs to help Alastair Cook’s men take a stranglehold on the fourth Test as they look to finally get a win on the board.
A top edge from David Warner to new wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow in the seventh over of Australia’s first innings was the landmark moment before he bowled Michael Clarke, who offered no shot, and had George Bailey caught behind following a review.
Ironically, Anderson’s maiden first-class wicket was current Sky Sports commentator Ian Ward, the man who interviewed him on the boundary edge at the end of the day.
Ward was caught by Warren Hegg bowled Anderson at Old Trafford on May 31, 2002, the first day of a drawn County Championship match between Lancashire and Surrey. Anderson was then 19-years-old.
Whoever his first international wicket was would have been a moment he dreamed for years, but to get Gilchrist bowled must have been beyond his wildest dreams. He progressed quickly through to the Test arena from there.
He has taken a first-class hat-trick for Lancashire and a one-day international hat-trick for England, and he has returned two ten-wicket hauls for England in Tests and two for the Red Rose in Championship cricket.
He is England’s most decorated bowler, something which he achieved last year when he passed Sir Ian Botham’s haul of 528, and he is rightly recognised as one of the best bowlers in the world.
With the recent retirement of his big mate Graeme Swann came inevitable questions regarding Anderson’s future in the game. But, thankfully for Lancashire and England fans, he put those thoughts to bed pretty swiftly.
“My motivation to carry on is as strong as ever,” he said earlier this week. “I’m hungry to carry on bowling for England for as long as they’ll have me — and that includes the 2015 World Cup as well as the next Ashes later that year.”
He is contracted to Lancashire until the end of 2015 having recently signed a new contract extension.
Congratulations on your milestones Jimmy. Here’s to many more!
Picture of Jimmy celebrating his 600th wicket (c) Anthony Devlin/PA Wire/Press Association Images