The latest episode in the Kevin Pietersen saga came too late for James Anderson to lay into his ostracised teammate in his new book. Not that he would have been wise to, anyway, given the furore that followed Graeme Swann's honest but entirely polite criticism of KP's leadership qualities.
Jimmy: My Story made the transition from interviews to words on the page in the skilled hands of the same ghostwriter who worked with Swann on The Breaks Are Off, in which the England off-spinner suggested that Pietersen was 'not a natural leader'.
The comment was one that Andy Flower, the England coach, felt Swann should have kept to himself while the two were sharing a dressing room, while Pietersen responded by saying that it was 'not a clever book (to write) in the middle of your career'.
No surprise, then, that fast bowler Anderson confines his comments to former teammates such as his ex-captains, Michael Vaughan, whose leadership style he didn't care for, and Nasser Hussain, whom he likened to 'a friendly sergeant major.'
He also felt his Lancashire teammate, Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff was unsuited to leadership. "Fred was a good mate," Anderson wrote, "but, in my opinion, it was an emotional decision to appoint him. The logical choice would have been Andrew Strauss, who stood out in that team. Flintoff was very passionate but as an England captain you need more than that. You need to be tactically astute and switched on."
Burnley-born Anderson, who turned 30 in July, is the fifth most successful Test match bowler in the history of English cricket with 276 wickets and will hope within the next 12 months to become only the fourth to top 300 wickets, joining Sir Ian Botham, Bob Willis and Fred Trueman.
Anderson’s career began at Burnley Cricket Club, where he first discovered his talent for bowling fast, before he joined Lancashire and was identified by England as a rising star. A career-halting injury stalled his progress but he fought back to reach the pinnacle of achievement by becoming an Ashes winner at home and away, making this a tale of determination and sheer force of character.
Jimmy: My Story, written by James Anderson with the help of Richard Gibson, is published today by Simon & Schuster.
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