20110124

Publishers looking to Anderson too...

James Anderson
If England’s cricket team are looking forward to welcoming a refreshed fast bowler back into their dressing room when James Anderson rejoins them in Australia for tomorrow’s fourth one-day international, publishers Simon and Schuster will also be hoping the Lancashire player can inspire a change of fortune for Andrew Strauss’s side.

They have committed themselves to making the 28-year-old a £100,000 advance to publish his biography later this year, having gambled on their man emerging as one of the stars in an historic Ashes triumph by buying the rights on Christmas Eve, with the series then all square at 1-1.

Their judgment looked sound as England won the last two Tests by an innings, Anderson wrapping up his own brilliant series with seven wickets in the concluding match in Sydney.

Anderson managed to fly home between the second and third Tests to attend the birth of his second child and it seemed only fair when the England management rewarded his part in the Ashes victory by giving him a couple of weeks off so he could return home again to spend time with mum and the new arrival.

In his absence, however, England have managed to lose the first three matches in the seven-leg one-day international series and his experience could be vital if they are to stay in contention with a win in Adelaide.

For their part, what Simon and Schuster least want to see is some of the gloss taken off England’s Ashes glory by a heavy defeat in the one-dayers.

What they do want to see is England holding not only the Ashes but the ICC World Cup by the time Anderson’s memoir rolls off the presses.

Thanks to massive television contracts pumping cash into the game, today’s cricketers -- especially England cricketers -- are well rewarded compared with their forbears but Anderson’s jaw must have dropped, nonetheless, at the money Simon and Schuster have been willing to pay.

Sports books have not exactly been flying off the shelves during the current recession and even the 2009 home Ashes win provided only a momentary fillip for cricket titles, with Andrew Strauss’s autobiography returning very disappointing numbers.

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