England, bidding to win four Tests in a home Ashes for the first time, needed 21 runs off 24 balls to reach their victory target of 227 when umpires Aleem Dar and Kumar Dharmasena decided the light was too bad to continue and ended the match to the disgust of a capacity crowd in south London.
“We know we can go to Australia and play even better,” spearhead seamer Anderson told Sky Sports after starring in England’s third straight series win over their arch-rivals.
“It feels pretty good [to win the Ashes]. It would have felt even better if we could have got the last few overs in there. I am delighted to have won the Ashes. Today was fantastic for the crowd.
“As it got closer and closer we really thought we could do it but unfortunately the light didn’t hold out.”
However, Anderson insisted: “We are going to cherish this moment because it doesn’t happen very often.”
Meanwhile England captain Alastair Cook reserved special praise for man-of-the-series Ian Bell, who scored 562 runs at 62.44 with three hundreds during this Ashes campaign.
“He was outstanding with his three hundreds at crucial times,” Cook said.
“Every one of those guys in the team can be proud of what they’ve done.
“I knew we had the opportunity to win the Ashes here in England and I’m very proud of what the boys have done.”
Meanwhile Bell, an Ashes-winner for the fourth time in his career, said: “Any time to win the Ashes is a special time.
“It’s nice to contribute, going into the series I was probably light on a few runs. I was getting a lot of starts but to get hundreds helps the team win Test matches.
“As the series went on I felt better and better.
“We’ve had to fight for every win. We’re looking forward to a nice break from Test cricket because it’s been hard work.”