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James Anderson set to join England coaching staff as bowling mentor after Test farewell

James Anderson will remain in England's Test set-up this summer after agreeing to join their backroom staff following his valedictory international appearance at Lord's next week.

The 41-year-old is set for an emotional farewell in the first Test of the home summer against the West Indies, starting next Wednesday, after being informed England are looking to build towards the future.

While England are ready to move on from Anderson on the field, the vast experience he has accrued across 187 Tests in which he has taken 700 wickets — both a record for non-spinners — means they are reluctant to cut the cord altogether.

Anderson, who has yet to decide whether he will continue playing county cricket for Lancashire, will therefore step into a newly-created role as England's fast bowling mentor for the last two Tests against the Windies and a three-match series versus Sri Lanka that follows.

"He's got so much to offer English cricket, we don't want to see that go," said Rob Key, the managing director of England men's cricket.

"He's going to be with us all summer. It's something that he's very keen to do as well. He hasn't done loads and loads of it, but we've got no question about his knowledge and experience with bowling.

"We have a great opportunity for the rest of the summer to find out just how much he enjoys it or doesn't enjoy it. What he does with Lancashire, we'll probably work out after the Lord's Test.

"Someone like Jimmy Anderson is going to have lots of options. I think English cricket would be very lucky if he chooses to stay in our game."

England have had a significant shake-up of their squad for the first two Tests to face the Windies, with no room for Jonny Bairstow, Ben Foakes, Jack Leach or Ollie Robinson.

Bairstow is the most high-profile casualty just a few months on from his 100th Test appearance in the 4-1 series defeat in India, where a top score of 38 in 10 innings left his position vulnerable.

The Yorkshireman lit the touchpaper for the 'Bazball' era with six Test centuries in 2022 but he has struggled to hit the heights since suffering a horrific leg break at the back end of that summer.

"Jonny just needs to get back to what he was a couple of years ago," Key said. “Generally, his form, in all formats, has just been going slightly in the wrong direction."

While Bairstow and Foakes have engaged in a long-term tug-of-war for the wicketkeeping spot, Jamie Smith has supplanted both and will take the gloves at the home of cricket.

He is joined in the squad by two other uncapped players in fast bowlers Dillon Pennington and Gus Atkinson, while Shoaib Bashir has been selected ahead of fellow Somerset spinner Jack Leach.

Smith is a specialist bat and wicketkeeping understudy to Foakes at Surrey but Key, who rejected suggestions of a "Bazball reset" for this series, is a long-term admirer of a player averaging in excess of 50 in this year's County Championship.

"We've been watching Jamie Smith for quite some time," said Key. "You just see players who are rare talents and he looks like that.

"There's a lot made of us just wanting someone who can go out there and play shots and that's not the case. We want someone who can not only up the ante when they're batting with the tail but soak up pressure when they need to as well and we feel Jamie Smith can do that.

"Often you're not making judgements on what they've done. You're making judgements on what they're going to do."

Key was speaking just a few days after England's semi-final defeat by eventual champions India in the T20 World Cup in the Caribbean.

While they reached the last four, England beat just one of the four Test nations they faced, with captain Jos Buttler and head coach Matthew Mott already under pressure after an abysmal 50-over World Cup last year.

Asked whether the pair will be in situ for England's next white-ball assignment against Australia later this summer, Key added: "We'll let the dust settle and move forward from there.

"I'm not going to rush anything. I don't think it's a bad sign when you get to a semi-final. At times I thought we showed how good we were in that. And at times we were inconsistent."

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