England’s all-time leading Test wicket takers James Anderson and Stuart Broad will be part of the squad for next year’s Ashes series against Australia, coach Brendon McCullum said.
Anderson, 40, and Broad, 36, were part of the England squad that suffered a 4-0 defeat in Australia in the last Ashes, and both were then omitted from the three-match series in West Indies where England lost 1-0.
Mired in a run of one win in 17 tests, England named Ben Stokes to replace Joe Root as captain in April and brought in McCullum as coach in May.
Broad and Anderson returned to the squad under the new leadership, helping the team win six of their seven tests this summer.
“Yeah, they’ll be here,” McCullum told reporters when asked if they would be in his Ashes squad.
“They’re both smiling. How good’s that? Those guys are phenomenal cricketers. They could finish any time they wanted and they’d still be considered greats of the game.
“What they’re doing is continuing to build on the legacy they’re going to leave for the next generation - the time they’re giving other people in the dressing-room is phenomenal,” McCullum added.
“Stuff you don’t see behind the scenes. The time, the effort and the confidence they’re giving the other guys is quite remarkable, really.”
McCullum also heaped praise on captain Stokes.
“His own game is phenomenal, his leadership qualities are amazing and he runs through brick walls for the side, as we’ve seen with some of his bowling spells,” McCullum said.
“I thought he’d be good as a leader, but I didn’t realise he’d be quite as good as he is.”