James Anderson training with Manchester City to work on fitness ahead of England's South Africa tour

James Anderson in England training
James Anderson will miss the tour of New Zealand but hopes to be available to play in South Africa Credit: Reuters

James Anderson is training with Manchester City in a bid to be fit in time for the England tour to South Africa. 

Anderson bowled just four overs during the Ashes due to the recurrence of a calf strain that has also ruled him out of England’s forthcoming tour to New Zealand.

Instead the 37 year-old has been told to concentrate on being fit for the four-Test series in South Africa that starts in Pretoria on Boxing Day. 

England did not want to risk Anderson in New Zealand for a two-match Test series that does not count towards the Test championship. They would rather he is fully fit for the tour to South Africa which will be the high point of another busy winter for England which ends with two Tests in Sri Lanka in March.

Manchester City have agreed for Anderson to use their facilities at the Etihad stadium which is handily located for him and he visited the ground on Wednesday to meet with their medical staff. 

It is not unusual for cricketers to train with football clubs. Anderson has worked with Burnley in the past and Jonny Bairstow trained with the Newcastle United goalkeepers as he explored ways to improve his footwork when wicket-keeping. 

Anderson is likely to be selected for a bowling camp in South Africa before the main tour starts which is when he will have to prove his fitness for the four-Test series. Chris Silverwood, the new England head coach, will speak publicly for the first time on Thursday and planning for life after Anderson, and Stuart Broad, is one of his main priorities. 

England have appointed Mo Bobat as the new performance director, a job that will see him work closely with Silverwood and national selector Ed Smith in preparing and identifying international players.

He replaces David Parsons who left the ECB in July.