Jimmy Anderson is relishing the prospect of an extended run in a Lancashire shirt this summer, even if it starts with a game he’d rather avoid.
“I’m not particularly looking forward to Loughborough, but I am excited about Middlesex,” he laughed.
Anderson is warming up for the Red Rose’s Specsavers County Championship opener at Lord’s next Thursday with a three-day friendly at Loughborough MCC Universities, starting today.
That Middlesex clash is the first of what he expects to be around seven Division Two appearances ahead of the Ashes in August and September.
He also looks likely to play a bit part in the county’s Royal London Cup campaign.
“It’s exciting to have a bit of a stint here and give a bit back,” he said.
“I owe a lot to Lancashire for what they’ve helped me with over the years, how they’ve helped me get to where I am. So it will be nice to have a good stint and hopefully get us off to a good start in the Championship.
“Promotion is all it’s about this year. It’s not going to be easy because there’s some strong teams in this division. So we need to get off to a good start and show some consistency.
“I say, ‘It’s all about promotion’, but the other two competitions are very important. But be consistent throughout, and I think we’ll be OK.”
Coach Glen Chapple is expected to field a strong side at Loughborough for a fixture which doesn’t have first-class status, although he is having to contend with some injury issues in his seam bowling department.
That is why Anderson is expecting to feature in some 50-over cricket in a few weeks’ time.
“I wasn’t planning on it, but currently the two oldest bowlers (Anderson and Graham Onions) are the only fit ones!” he said.
“Essentially, I have to keep bowling anyway to keep ticking over throughout that period.
“I don’t mind playing the odd one, but I’m not trying to resurrect my 50-over career to get into the World Cup squad or anything like that.”
While Anderson has a reasonable idea how his preparations for the Ashes will go, there is no definite plan.
“It’s quite hard to map it out because you never know what’s going to happen with the weather or you might have the odd game that only goes two days,” he explained.
“I think we’ll just manage it as and when games come along but the idea is to play around seven of the 10 Championship games.”
Lancashire have strengthened their pace options with the signing of Nottinghamshire fast bowler Mark Footitt on an initial 28-day loan.
The 33-year-old former Derbyshire and Surrey man will be in the squad for their friendly against Loughborough MCCU.