Rob Key says ‘this is right time’ as James Anderson announces England retirement

England will have to find a way to move on after James Anderson’s international retirement, according to managing director Rob Key.

Anderson, the most prolific seamer in Test history, is set for a farewell appearance against the West Indies at Lord’s in July.

The 41-year-old, who reached 700 Test wickets in his most recent outing against India in Dharamsala during March, will make way for the next generation as head coach Brendon McCullum looks to the future.

Former England bowler Stuart Broad believes the Test team could find themselves with a “quite scary” lack of bowling experience once his old accomplice Anderson joins him in retirement later this summer.

Key, though, stressed it was now time for others to take up the mantle.

“We said ‘we think it’s time for us to move on, that we have to start looking towards the future’,” Key told the Test Match Special County Cricket podcast.

“This is the right decision and this is the right time. Hopefully he gets a fantastic end at Lord’s.”

Key added: “People need the opportunity to learn to bowl with the new ball, to go through a day’s worth of Test cricket and back it up the next day. Now is the time for people to start learning that.”

McCullum made a visit to the UK recently from his native New Zealand, with one of the items on his agenda discussing Anderson’s England future in talks alongside Key and captain Ben Stokes.

“When we made the decision and thought we needed to meet Jimmy to discuss the future, Brendon came to the conclusion that the right thing to do was to fly over to England,” Key added.

“We had a conversation for about an hour and a half, which Baz (McCullum) led. I don’t think Jimmy was expecting it, but I don’t think it was completely unexpected.

“We felt it was right that Jimmy and the public had the opportunity to say goodbye. We didn’t impress upon him that he needed to make the decision there and then. Not so long ago he decided the Lord’s game would be his last.”

Jofra Archer
Jofra Archer hopes to soon be back at full fitness (John Walton/PA)

Jofra Archer has been included in England’s T20 World Cup squad, with the 29-year-old looking to put a run of injuries behind him following a recurrence of a stress fracture in his right elbow.

Key said: “Jofra needs to build up his robustness, so his body can do what is required to be a fast bowler. Hopefully next year he can play some red-ball cricket.

“He keeps sending me the YouTube clips of his batting, because I think he fancies himself up the order.”