A day ahead of playing his 100th Test match, England pacer James Anderson on Sunday said bitter memories of being sidelined in the early stages of his career keep him motivated to continue in the highest level of cricket.
England take on the West Indies in the first Test here on Monday.
Anderson needs just four wickets to overtake Sir Ian Botham to become the leading Test wicket-taker in England’s cricket history.
"I’ve never forgotten sitting on the sidelines for 18 months or two years and not being able to be out there doing what I love," Anderson was quoted as saying by dailymail.co.uk.
"Obviously, I was playing county cricket, which was great, but the ultimate goal is playing for England and I want to do that for as long as possible," he said.
The England pacer recalled the time when he was out of the national side with an injury and feared if he could ever make his way back.
"I got off to a good start to my career but then had a few years out of the England side with dodgy form and injuries. I didn’t know if I’d ever play again," he said.
Anderson, fit at 32, wants to carry on for as long as possible, including in One-Day-International cricket even though he accepts he could be dropped from the 50-over team as England rebuild after their disastrous World Cup campaign.
"My body, touch wood, has never been better. I have consciously worked on it in the last few years. Once you get past 30, things get hard but I feel good and I feel as like I could go on for a few more years," Anderson concluded.