Flintoff signs for Brisbane Heat
Former England allrounder Andrew Flintoff has signed with Brisbane Heat for the upcoming Big Bash League season, becoming the third foreign player to join the side after New Zealand spinner Daniel Vettori and West Indies legspinner Samuel Badree.
"I'm excited to be coming back to Australia and especially to Brisbane which has always been a favourite spot of mine to play," Flintoff said. "[The coach] Stuart Law and I have had a few conversations and I'm clear on what we're looking to achieve in the competition. The Heat squad has some exciting talent and I'm looking forward to catching up with Dan Vettori again."
Flintoff, who turns 37 in December, had previously agreed to play for Queensland in the interstate Big Bash competition in 2010, but 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 NatWest T20 Blast.
Flintoff only played three matches due to further injury setbacks, but thumped an eight-ball 20 in the final against Warwickshire, although he could not haul his team over the line.
"I really enjoyed my T20 season with Lancs and having the opportunity to keep playing is something I am very pleased about," Flintoff said. "It's going to be great heading out to Brisbane and getting into the swing of things for the BBL in December. I've seen from afar how the BBL has evolved so quickly to become a world class competition and it's a challenge that I am certainly up for."
Despite an international career spanning 11 years, Flintoff played only seven T20Is. Overall in Twenty20 cricket, he has scored three half-centuries, and picked up 36 wickets from 32 matches.
The Heat coach Stuart Law welcomed having a "champion fella" in the team, and said Flintoff's vast experience boded well for the side.
"I've told Fred we signed him to win games of cricket, so that means we want him bowling 140km/hr, hitting sixes and using his experience around the group to get the job done,'' Law said. "He's an enormous competitor and so I know he is coming out for the right reasons.
"The Brisbane fans will quickly discover he's a champion fella and I'm sure they will love having him with the team. He's a wonderful person and we're looking forward to having Fred and his family with us at the Heat over the summer."