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Veteran pace bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad have “got their eyes set” on next summer’s Ashes, according to England captain Ben Stokes.
Both were dropped for England’s tour of West Indies in March but returned to play a key part in Stokes’ side winning five of their six Tests this summer.
Broad will turn 37 during the Ashes, while Anderson will be almost 41.
“I honestly just can’t see a point where they decide it’s time for them to step away,” said Stokes.
Anderson and Broad, England’s all-time leading wicket-takers, will line-up for the deciding Test against South Africa at The Oval, beginning on Thursday.
Anderson has taken 24 wickets at an average of 17.66 in Test cricket this summer, while Broad has 22 at 31.90.
“Jimmy has come out and said how much fun he’s had and Broady’s influence in the dressing room is the best I’ve seen while playing with him over the years,” added Stokes.
“The conversations he has had not only with me but the other bowlers, how he wants to help them and stuff like that is something he’s taken to another level.”
England are scheduled to play only five Tests this winter – three in Pakistan in December and two in New Zealand in February.
Given the conditions in Pakistan, both Anderson and Broad could be used sparingly, or not travel at all.
England will then play one Test against Ireland next summer before the bid to regain the Ashes from Australia in June and July.
If Anderson does play next summer, it would mark 20 years since his Test debut, against Zimbabwe at Lord’s in 2003. He has taken 664 wickets in 174 matches.
Broad made his bow in 2007 and has since taken 559 wickets from 158 caps.
“It’s great to see Jimmy at 40 and Broady at 36 having a new lease of life in the dressing room and honestly I can’t tell you when the end will be,” said Stokes.
“We’ve got the Ashes coming up next summer and I’m pretty sure they have got their eyes set on that.”