Big Bash League 2014-15 news October 14, 2014

Flintoff closes in on BBL deal

ESPNcricinfo staff

Andrew Flintoff is closing in on a deal with Brisbane Heat to play in the Big Bash League and extend his return to Twenty20 cricket.

A stint in Australia has been on the cards for some time with initial reports saying that Flintoff will shortly put pen to paper so long as other commercial deals in the country come together.

Stuart Law, the Heat coach and former Lancashire player, confirmed to the Manchester Evening News that talks are well advanced.

"We've had discussions with Freddie," Law told the newspaper. "And if things go well, hopefully we will be able to confirm next week that he will play some part in the Big Bash for us."

If the deal does come off there is the enticing prospect of a head-to-head with Kevin Pietersen on December 28 when Heat take on Melbourne Stars.

Flintoff had previously agreed to play for Queensland in 2009 shortly before he was forced into retirement due to a knee injury. At the time he had planned to continue in the limited-overs formats, but The Oval Test against Australia proved to be his last professional match until the recent English season when he made a surprise return for Lancashire in the T20 Blast.

Flintoff only managed two group matches amid further injury setbacks but, with the ball especially, showed he could still hold his own. There was almost a fairytale conclusion to his first season back in the field when he struck 20 off eight balls in the final against Birmingham at Edgbaston but could not quite haul Lancashire over the line.

At the time of the Blast final, Flintoff said: "I have had offers to play in the Big Bash. I am going to sit down with my wife and see what we decide to do. But I would love to do that.

"If there is an opportunity there, then why not? It is one of the things I have always wanted to do. I was about to sign for Queensland in 2009 but was forced to retire. I have never been over there and played in domestic cricket so would love to do it."

Although Flintoff's T20 comeback has so far been brief he continued to train as the English domestic season drew to a close and was seen in the nets during Lancashire's final Championship match against Middlesex at Old Trafford.

Since returning to the cricket field he has also continued with his TV projects, the latest of which involves travelling around the UK in a fish and chip van.

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