Jimmy Anderson responded to the growing threat to international cricket from the huge amounts of money on offer in domestic Twenty20 leagues by backing English players to prioritise Tests.
England’s record wicket-taker, who needs three more victims in Thursday's final Test against West Indies to reach 500, accepts the temptations in front of the current generation are vast.
But he gave the example of his Lancashire team-mate Jos Buttler, one of the best Twenty20 players in the world, as evidence that England’s finest will not turn their backs on the game’s ultimate format.
Jimmy Anderson has backed English players to prioritise Tests over Twenty20 riches
Anderson was talking at Lord’s as it emerged that the richest tournament of them all, the Indian Premier League, has secured a staggering £1.97billion TV deal with Star India that propels Twenty20 earning potential to a new level.
‘It makes complete sense why guys would want to do it,’ said Anderson ahead of the first ever September Test at Lord’s. ‘Why would you put yourself through five days of hard work when you can play Twenty20 and it’s all over in three and a half hours?
‘But I like to think, certainly in county cricket, the ambition of most is still to play Tests. Look at Jos. He is still playing four-day cricket for Lancashire because he wants to play Tests again.
‘As long as guys like that are showing Test cricket is still important, hopefully the game will be fine. I love T20 but as long as I am fit enough to bowl I will be trying to play Test cricket.’
England’s record wicket-taker needs three more victims to reach 500 wickets
They were encouraging words from a senior England player when the prospect of domestic cricket worldwide usurping the international game has