Ian Botham has acknowledged that his status as England’s leading Test wicket-taker will soon be lost to James Anderson
Botham snared 383 victims during in 102 matches during his 15-year career, while fellow right-arm seamer Anderson is currently in possession of 258 scalps in 68 games.
At 29 years old, barring injury, the current leader of England’s attack sports ample opportunity to clinch the 126 wickets needed to surpass Botham’s record.
“I don’t see any reason why he can’t beat it, my record,” Botham told M.E.N. Sport.
“Jimmy is the best bowler in world cricket at the moment. I have watched him over the last two years carry the England attack.
“He is the leader of the pack and let’s hope he stays fit because he is the most feared new-ball bowler around.”
Named England Player of the Year last week, Anderson insisted the former captain’s prolific tally was not in his immediate sights yet.
Anderson has taken one 12 Test match five-fors and one 10-for to Botham’s 27 and four, while his 11 for 71 against Pakistan at Trent Bridge in 2010 is a far cry from the 13 for 106 the former great took against India in Mumbai in 1980.
“Ian’s record is a realistic possibility,” said Anderson. “But I don’t really think about it. My main focus is to keep fit, keep my place in the team and help England win games.
“You don’t know how long your career is going to carry on for. Andrew Flintoff got a career-ending injury when he was 32 years old, so you never know.
“If, in a few years, I get close then great. I am happy with what I have achieved so far but it would be nice at the end of my career to look back on things like that.”