Uncovering James Anderson’s Rise: The Fateful Phone Call Story

Uncovering a Cricketing Gem: The Fateful Phone Call that Led to James Anderson’s Rise

In the late-90s, a chance phone call from Valerie Brown, the wife of then-Burnley CC captain Peter Brown, would set the stage for the emergence of one of England’s all-time cricketing greats – James Anderson.

It was an uncharacteristic move for Valerie to reach out to John Stanworth, who had played for Lancashire in the 80s and was then heading up the county’s academy. Yet, her message was clear – the Burnley lads, including her sons David and Michael, couldn’t stop raving about a young bowler named James Anderson.

Intrigued, Stanworth made the trip to Burnley to take a look at the promising prospect. What he saw was a raw talent, capable of “bowling absolute jaffas” with his quick, late-swinging deliveries. Despite Anderson’s unconventional action, Stanworth recognized his “incredible natural attributes” and saw the youngster’s sharp upward trajectory in the years that followed.

“Despite Anderson’s unconventional action, Stanworth recognized his ‘incredible natural attributes’ and saw the youngster’s sharp upward trajectory in the years that followed.”

Anderson’s journey to becoming England’s greatest fast bowler had humble beginnings. Passed over for Lancashire’s Under-16 trials, the teenage Anderson honed his skills in the Lancashire leagues, where he soon began making a name for himself by dismissing seasoned professionals like former West Indies Test player Roger Harper.

In December 2002, Anderson’s talent earned him a call-up to the England ODI team, and just a few months later, he was leaving his mark at the World Cup. By the summer of 2003, the young seamer made his Test debut at Lord’s – a venue he would return to for his final Test match, marking the end of a remarkable 20-year international career.

As Anderson prepares to bid farewell to the game at the iconic Lord’s ground, the Burnley Cricket Club community, including the Brown family, will be there to witness the culmination of a journey that began with a simple phone call. While they are eager to avoid any sense of self-importance, the Burnley faithful can take pride in their role in unearthing a cricketing gem who would go on to become England’s greatest-ever fast bowler.

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