‘Anderson’s 600-wicket journey began with my Test wicket’

England fast bowler James Anderson’s 600-wicket journey began 17 years ago when he bowled Zimbabwean opener Mark Vermeulen at Lord’s on the 2nd day (May 23, 2003) of the first Test.

“Yes, I have been following Anderson’s career with interest and absolutely have no regrets being his first test wicket,” the 41-year-old right handed batsman Mark Vermeulen, speaking exclusively over telephone from South Africa, said.

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Vermeulen has moved to South Africa where he has been involved in school coaching.

“It was a good ball which straightened down the slope at Lord’s hitting the top of middle and off stump,” he recalled, adding, “Obviously I was disappointed at the time but I don’t feel so bad now knowing that he has taken 600 wickets.”

“Yes, what an incredible achievement by him reaching 600 Test wickets and to become the 1st fast bowler to achieve this is truly remarkable.”

“He’s done very well to keep fit and playing for this long and I hope that he can get 20 more Test wickets so that he can jump ahead of Anil Kumble and go to number 3 in the all-time wicket takers,”

he further added.

Interestingly, Anderson had to spend nearly 21 hours between his 599 and 600th wickets. Had there been no play on the final day, he would have had to spend several months.

India’s Umesh Yadav finished Nagpur Test v SL, 24 Nov 2017 on 99 wkts, and had to wait until Bangalore Test v AFG, 14 Jun 2018, to get the 100th one.

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