Lancashire and England ace James Anderson is targeting a return to action against Ireland this week to enhance his chances of featuring in the Ashes.
The 36-year-old has been out of action with a calf strain but was on hand to help train youngsters at Blackpool Cricket Club’s Stanley Park’s Allstars session on Friday.
Anderson is eyeing a return to action against Ireland this week but, if he does not feature, he should be back for the Ashes opener on August 1.
“It is all good; I feel absolutely fine,” he said when asked about his calf.
“I’m keeping my fingers crossed I will be fit for the Ireland game.
“We met up on Saturday at St George’s Park so hopefully if everything goes well before Wednesday I should be OK.
“The Ashes starts only a few days after the Ireland game finishes so if I can get myself fit for the Ireland game then, hopefully, that will kick my fitness on just before the Ashes.
“If I am not fit for the Ireland game then hopefully for the first Test of the Ashes.”
Anderson was also on hand to spread the word about Lancashire Lightning’s T20 campaign and his new book – and hopes that England’s ODI World Cup win inspires more youngsters to follow in his footsteps.
He said: “It is always important trying to get the next generation to start playing cricket.
“We have seen with the World Cup what can be achieved with the sport.
“I’ve played it professionally for 20 years so I know it is an amazing game but there are people out there who have not been introduced to it.
“I think it is really important to get kids involved, not just from a keeping them active point of view, but it is a great sport, a great team sport, and you can pick up a lot of life skills as well as playing a great game.”
If you wish to watch Lancashire’s T20 campaign, visit www.lancashirecricket.co.uk/vitalityblast