How England star James Anderson led school cricket lessons at the age of 7

Video report by Granada Reports Sport Correspondent Chris Hall

It's 20 years since Jimmy Anderson made his Test debut, but the potential to become England's greatest ever wicket taker was spotted more than a decade earlier.

Teachers at his school in Burnley say they knew he was 'one to watch' from a very early age.

England and Lancashire cricket star James Anderson as a child Credit: James Anderson @JimmyA9

In fact, former teacher at St Mary's RC Primary in Burnley, Tina Bradley, told ITV's Granada Reports that the England and Lancashire cricket star was even leading PE lessons when he was 7.

"He organised the class and I just walked round as if I knew what was happening and I hadn't a clue! But for the full half term James took those lessons."

James Anderson said "I don't think any of the teachers knew the rules of cricket back then so I tried to do my best to explain it to the kids!"

Ahead of the start of the Ashes, James was back at his old school in Burnley along with Lancashire clubmate Emma Lamb, as part of the Chance to Shine charity.

They were helping to deliver coaching to thousands of children in underserved communities.

"It's strange to be back" Anderson told Granada Reports, "but really nice, brings back memories of running around this playground and nice to be back.

"That's why it's nice to come to things like this, the stuff that Chance to Shine are doing trying to bring cricket into state schools around the country, I think it is an amazing thing to do."

James Anderson says he's 'itching' to play in The Ashes, and hopes to inspire the next generation Credit: ITV News

"I didn't have much opportunity to play cricket at school." says Emma Lamb. "My mum had to talk to the teachers to get them to let me play.

"They just thought cricket was for boys. That was the outlook back then. It's nice to be here today. I've seen lots of girls hit the ball harder than some of the boys."

Emma and James can inspire by example this summer with both the men's and women's Ashes taking place on home soil.

James has shaken off a groin strain in time to battle for cricket's biggest prize and smallest trophy.

James Anderson with teammate Stuart Broad with the Ashes trophy Credit: (Philip Brown/PA) PA Archive

"The last two home series I've missed through injury so I'm itching to play in (the Ashes) again. Two fantastic teams and the way we're playing, we can't wait to get out there and entertain."

And both James and Emma say they hope what they do in the Ashes will inspire more children to take up the game.

"The way Ben Stokes has got us playing is meant to inspire the next generation. So we're excited to get going and see what we can do."

So, 33 years after leading those school cricket sessions, Jimmy was back coaching again. This week he hopes to school a few Aussies too.

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