James Anderson says he would love to return to the England Test team under new captain Ben Stokes.
Anderson and Stuart Broad, England’s leading Test wicket-takers, were left out of the West Indies tour in March.
England lost the Test series in the Caribbean without the duo, who are both among the game’s top 10 all-time wicket-takers in Test matches.
“Stuart and I were hoping our careers weren’t over,” said Anderson. “So it’s nice to hear there’s a chance.”
Anderson has taken a record 640 Test wickets while Broad is second on England’s all-time list with 537.
The appointment of Stokes as captain and Rob Key as managing director has reopened the door for the 39-year-old Lancashire fast bowler, with both saying they want Anderson and Broad, 35, to return.
Speaking to BBC Radio Lancashire, Anderson said: “It still means we’ve got to put in some performances here with our counties to prove that we’re playing well enough to get in that final XI.
“Because of the situation and not having people in these roles, you’re just so unsure of what’s going to happen. So now having that clarity is really nice.”
Anderson said Stokes, 30, was the obvious choice for captain, calling him a “natural leader who has the respect of the group” – and “a clear idea of how he wants the team to play”.
“I’d love to be part of that,” he added. “We’ve had a tough few years, we’re down the bottom of the Test Championship. English cricket needs to get back to winning test matches.”
England face New Zealand and South Africa in Test series this summer and will play the concluding Test of last summer’s five-match series against India, which was postponed after India withdrew over Covid-19 concerns.