Ashes 2023: will James Anderson play in England vs Australia cricket series? Injury of fast bowler explained

James Anderson will be battling against time to make Edgbaston for opening Ashes Test

James Anderson is set for a period on the sidelines after it was announced he had sustained a mild strain to his right groin. The 40-year-old was missing for a third-straight day as Lancashire’s County Championship match against Somerset ended in a draw.

This announcement has caused concern that the fast bowler will be unable to compete in this summer’s Ashes series against Australia. Anderson managed just four overs in The 2019 Ashes series before being ruled out with a calf injury but has since been a vital part of Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes’ Bazball success, taking 46 wickets in 11 matches.

In his 20-year career with England, Jimmy has taken 685 Test wickets, the most for any fast bowler, and sits third in the list of all-time leading wicket-takers. 112 of those wickets have been against Australia and it is being widely suspected this could be the England veteran’s final Ashes series of his exceptionally illustrious career.

Here is all you need to know about James Anderson’s injury...

What has been said?

A statement from the ECB said Anderson’s fitness “will be assessed nearer the time of the LV=Insurance Test match against Ireland, which takes place at Lord’s starting on Thursday 1 June 2022.”

Jimmy is the all-time leading wicket-taker for fast bowlers with 685 wicketsJimmy is the all-time leading wicket-taker for fast bowlers with 685 wickets
Jimmy is the all-time leading wicket-taker for fast bowlers with 685 wickets

His head coach at Lancashire, Glen Chapple, said after the game: “I don’t think it’s anything too serious” giving fans hope he will be fit and ready for the arrival of the Australians in a few weeks time.

Will he feature in The Ashes?

The ECB’s statement appears more positive that England’s all-time leading wicket-taker will feature in The Ashes, however nothing has been confirmed as of yet.

Anderson is now the third bowler to be injured and at risk. Jofra Archer is once again out due to his troublesome elbow which has plagued him for two years. The fast bowler, who was one of the stars of the show in the 2019 Ashes series, was forced to return early from the Indian Premier League due to further discomfort in his right elbow. Olly Stone is another who is set to face several weeks on the sidelines after he injured his hamstring while on duty for Nottinghamshire.

England’s captain, Ben Stokes, is arguably one of the biggest concerns, however. In the IPL, he has bowled just one over for the Chennai Super Kings and the franchise’s head coach Stephen Fleming has said of the allrounder “Ben’s ability to bowl overs at the moment is still a bit of a challenge.” Stokes’ long-standing left knee injury flared up during England’s tour of New Zealand and he then suffered another unspecified ‘setback’ earlier in the IPL season.

When is The Ashes 2023?

Australia will arrive in England in a few weeks time with The Ashes taking place in June and July this summer as opposed to the former dates of July and August. Here are the five Test match dates:

  • Test 1: Edgbaston, Friday 16 June - Tuesday 20 June
  • Test 2: Lord’s, Wednesday 28 June - Sunday 2 July
  • Test 3: Headingley, Thursday 6 June - Monday 10 July
  • Test 4: Old Trafford, Wednesday 19 June - Sunday 23 July
  • Test 5: The Oval, Thursday 27 July - Monday 31 July