England fast bowler James Anderson has acknowledged being aware of the ‘unusual story’ that claimed the reasons for the cricketer not given a knighthood in the New Years' honors list.
The report stated that England are wary of Australia sledging Anderson during the 2021-22 Ashes. However, Anderson, 38, believes that Australians will still sledge him irrespective of whether he is knighted or not.
According to English newspaper Sunday Times, England did not want James Anderson to receive the knighthood this year as he is still a current player.
During the 2006-07 Ashes, where England were whitewashed 0-5, Shane Warne had sledged Paul Collingwood for receiving an MBE.
Speaking about the newspaper report, Anderson, who is currently the tenth-ranked bowler in Test cricket, said:
“I did see that. I thought it was a pretty unusual story. I’ve not heard anything like that.”
“I’m sure it won’t stop them sledging me anyway"- James Anderson
Anderson, England’s highest wicket-taker in Tests, added that he would be sledged in Australia regardless of whether he’s knighted or not.
“I’m sure it won’t stop them sledging me anyway, to be honest. I pretty much get a big barrage when I go there anyway. I’m looking forward to that with or without that.”
England will be playing 17 Tests in 2021 and are now in Sri Lanka to play a two-match Test series, starting from January 14. Next month, they will arrive in India to play a four-match Test series.
With 292 points and a PCT of 0.608, England are currently placed fourth in the ICC Test Championship points table. They are also the fourth-ranked Test team after Australia, New Zealand and India.