Anderson gives up IPL cash for Test focus


England fast bowler James Anderson has reiterated his commitment to the Test side, saying he will not be entering the Indian Premier League auction this year as it would clash with his red ball ambitions.

Anderson is England's leading Test wicket-taker, and while he is reaching the mid-30s, he has no intention of switching focus to the shortest format, as it's not traditionally been his forte in the first place.

He said that he was happy to have a break during the IPL window, and make sure to be well prepared for the England Test season that starts in May: "My heart is with playing Test cricket for England.

"So that is what I'll concentrate on doing for the foreseeable future. At the moment, where I am at this stage of my career, I want to make sure I'm in good nick to play Test match cricket for England.

"A couple of months off won't be a bad thing. I'll make sure I come back for Lancashire at the start of the season and get ready for the Test matches at the start of the summer. That's where my head is at."

Anderson added that despite what fans may think, players do want to play Tests more than anything else, and he is no different: "There is a slight worry about domestic T20 competitions doing so well.

"But speak to players and there is a still a passion to play Test cricket. It's a real test of someone's character and skill. It still excites me. I love it. I prioritise it in my head and my heart.

"I'm not the only person who feels like that in the world. Hopefully it's not just players but fans too, but we need people to keep supporting the [Test] game so that it does flourish.

"Seventeen Tests in a year is a huge challenge, but I get excited about it and I look forward to it."