Sri Lankan veteran Angelo Mathews has cited England's James Anderson as an inspiration ahead of his 100th Test. The right-handed batsman admitted that Anderson's drive to play for a few more years is highly inspirational.
Mathews, who made his Test debut in 2009 at Galle against Pakistan, will play his 100th match on Sunday, July 24 against the same opposition. The all-rounder has been one of the important cogs in Sri Lanka's line-up and is currently their fourth highest run-getter in Tests with 6876 runs.
Ahead of the second Test against Pakistan in Galle, Mathews said Anderson's longevity inspired him, given his eagerness to play for two more years. The 35-year-old said he is still interested in playing all forms of cricket.
"My inspiration is Jimmy Anderson. Being a fast bowler, he still wants to play a couple of more years. See it's the drive that you have towards the game. It's not going to stop here. I still have a few more years. Age is just a number, and I am still willing to give it my best in all three formats," the veteran stated, as quoted by India Today.
Anderson, who made his debut in 2003, remains one of England's first-choice players in red-ball cricket. The right-arm batsman became the second most capped player in the format when he played his 169th Test in January this year. He currently has 657 wickets in 172 Tests at 26.36.
"We like if there are many more Test matches because most of the leading players want to play more Test cricket" - Angelo Mathews
The Colombo-born player also urged the SLC to organize more Tests, citing the enjoyment it brings, adding:
"I prefer Test cricket. We like if there are many more Test matches because most of the leading players want to play more Test cricket. But, unfortunately, I think we have about seven Test matches for the next 18 months or so. We hope SLC would make arrangements to include a few more Test matches."