The cricket world is honouring a legend of the sport after England's James Anderson became the first fast bowler in Test history to reach the famed 600-wicket milestone.
Only three other bowlers in Test cricket history have taken 600 wickets or more and they are all spinners, highlighting just how momentous the England ace’s achievement was.
'DISASTER': Ricky Ponting's dire warning about Steve Smith
'IT’S RIDICULOUS': Shane Warne hits out amid cricket 'disgrace'
‘WHAT IS THAT’: Cricket world erupts over 'weirdest' scenes
Anderson is refusing to rest on his laurels after achieving the incredible feat, revealing England captain Joe Root wants him to feature in the 2021/22 Ashes tour of Australia.
The 38-year-old became only the fourth bowler after three retired spinners - Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan (800 wickets), Australia's Shane Warne (708) and India's Anil Kumble (619) - to achieve the feat when he had Pakistan captain Azhar Ali well caught by first slip Root at the Ageas Bowl.
Anderson will be nearly 40 when England begin their quest to regain the Ashes urn from arch-rivals Australia.
Although he has now played a mammoth 156 Tests, Anderson insists there’s no reason why he couldn't still be a key member of England's attack Down Under.
"To be honest I've chatted to Rooty about this a little bit and he has said he would like me to be in Australia," Anderson told reporters after a match marred by bad weather ended in a draw to give England a 1-0 win in a three-Test series.
Anderson's astonishing 600-wicket milestone is a testament to the paceman's consistency and longevity.
Unsurprisingly, tributes to the England quick were flying in thick and fast after he sealed the incredible piece of cricket history.
Incredible 600 by @jimmy9 . What an amazing achievement. Playing 156 Test Matches for a medium fast bowler is no less achievement. Cheers mate. #JamesAnderson #600TestWickets #England pic.twitter.com/dVFMqPvuwA— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) August 25, 2020
No matter what people say #JamesAnderson is a freaking Legend!!!🙏🙏— Jubin Hazra (@jubinhazra123) August 25, 2020
He is right at the top with Glenn McGrath, Wasim Akram & other legends..🔥🔥
Congratulations Jimmy for 600 Test Wickets..Take a Bow!!🙏🙏
Huge congratulations to Jimmy Anderson. Just an unbelievable achievement.— Hugh Laurie (@hughlaurie) August 25, 2020
The king of swing becomes the first fast bowler in history to 600 test wickets. For a quick to have this longevity is incredible. Unbelievable cricketer. Take a bow, Jimmy! #JamesAnderson #ENGvPAK pic.twitter.com/zAtwS74ymD— Srini Mama (@SriniMaama16) August 25, 2020
Anderson determined to keep on bowling
At 38, Anderson - an England international for 17 years - is already at an age where many pacemen of previous generations have long since retired.
But his hunger for wickets shows no sign of being sated, even though he has already enjoyed the rare experience for an England cricketer of starring in a victorious Ashes campaign in Australia, in 2010/11.
"I don't see any reason why I can't be (involved)," he said.
"I'm working hard on my fitness all the time, working hard on my game. I didn't bowl as well as I'd have liked for the whole summer but this Test match I was really on it and I feel like I've still got stuff to offer this team," added Anderson, who finished with match figures of 7-101 following his 29th five-wicket Test haul in the first innings.
"As long as I still feel like that I think I'll keep going.
"There will be decisions along the way with the selectors and coach and captain around how the team moves forward but as long as they want me around I'll keep working hard and try to prove I'm good enough to play in this team."
While England were able to stage 'bio-secure' series against both Pakistan and the West Indies this season, there is no certainty as to when they will next play a Test amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"It felt amazing to get 600 wickets, but even if I didn't get it here there are worse numbers to be stuck on for a few months than 599, so I'd have been happy either way," said Anderson, who was happy to see Root feature in his landmark achievement.
"But it means a huge amount to see Joe taking the catch, I have played loads of Test cricket with Joe and also with Stuart Broad. I was fortunate enough to be out on the field for his 500th wicket (last month) and it has meant a lot to both of us."
Meanwhile Root paid tribute to Anderson by saying: "There's no one that can touch him really, he's that far ahead of everyone else in my opinion.
"He's a brilliant senior player - you couldn't ask for a better role model and someone to learn off. He's a credit to our country."