London: A thin line can sometimes separate chump from champ in sport and James Anderson obviously felt he was being the latter when he kept quiet about a rib he is said to have broken during the recent Ashes series, which England lost 0-5.
According to a report, Anderson fractured a rib after being struck by Peter Siddle, of Australia, in the second Test in Adelaide. He then played the next three Tests, where he bowled 109.2 overs and took nine wickets, in pain.
If Anderson did break a rib, sources close to the team reckoned he kept the news to himself. Playing with niggles is part of cricketing life but even bruised ribs tend to be excruciating for bowlers and Anderson would not have been able to perform near his best even with painkillers he is said to have used.
By doing what he did Anderson compromised the team, which would normally make him a chump.
But with Graeme Swann retiring after the third Test he probably felt, as another trusted senior player, that he could not abandon Alastair Cook, the captain, as well so played through the pain. That makes him thoroughly unprofessional but a champ nonetheless. The Daily Telegraph