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England cricket team bid farewell to James Anderson, focus on Ashes build-up

England cricket team captain Ben Stokes has announced that the team will move on from legendary fast bowler James Anderson. The decision is part of a strategy to prepare for the Ashes series against Australia next winter. Anderson, 41, is the all-time leading fast bowler in Test history with 700 dismissals in 187 matches. He is set to play his final international match against the West Indies at Lord's this week.

Stokes, along with England head coach Brendon McCullum and director of cricket Rob Key, have decided to use this summer's home games to train their younger bowlers for the upcoming tour of Australia on November 2025. Stokes, who has been captain for two years, stood out. the importance of progressing the team and pushing it as far as it can go, both collectively and individually.

The team's aim is to regain the Ashes, and Stokes believes that giving young, talented players experience in international cricket will put England in a stronger position to achieve that goal. Surrey's Gus Atkinson will make his Test debut at Lord's, while Dillon Pennington and Matthew Potts are possible replacements for Anderson at Trent Bridge next week.

Anderson recently took seven wickets for Lancashire against Nottinghamshire in the County Championship, a performance Stokes admitted brought unwanted attention to his decision to move on. Despite this, Stokes revealed that Anderson is excited about the prospect of remaining with the England squad as part of the Test squad's back-up staff following his retirement.

While Anderson's retirement marks the end of an era, Stokes says his main focus is helping England win their last match. After this week, Anderson will transition into his new role, where he will continue to contribute to the team's success off the field.

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