County news

Flintoff comeback plans quicken

David Hopps

May 13, 2014

Comments: 21 | Text size: A | A

Andrew Flintoff won his first professional boxing fight on a points decision, Manchester, November 30, 2012
Andrew Flintoff's varied life since retirement has even involved a go at professional boxing © AFP
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Andrew Flintoff's plans for a remarkable comeback nearly five years after his career seemed over because of injury are moving closer with his secret talks with Lancashire now reported by insiders at the county to be at an "advanced stage".

Flintoff's attempted return would give England's relaunched NatWest Blast tournament a dash of celebrity but both Lancashire and the player himself are determined he will only return if they both feel he can meet cricketing demands.

Flintoff is not only contemplating returning on the field for Lancashire, he has also been offered the opportunity to take on an as yet undefined coaching role during the tournament.

Prospects of him playing in the opening game against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge on Friday night or for Lancashire's first home game against Worcestershire Rapids at Old Trafford 24 hours later seem to have been scuppered by an ankle injury picked up in fielding practice.

Flintoff responded tartly on Twitter earlier this week to Notts' suggestions that he might play at Trent Bridge and suggested they should use the quality of their own players to sell tickets.

The injury has also so far prevented him turning out in one of several Lancashire's 2nd XI T20 fixtures this week - the latest of which is scheduled for Ormskirk today - and he will have to play in at least one such game to confirm that his fitness is robust enough for 1st team cricket.

Flintoff's big-hitting capability is ideally designed for T20 cricket and his enthusiasm for one last heave has been apparent in net sessions. If he does take the field, it would be a huge surprise if he also had a stint with the ball.

But both Lancashire and the player are keenly aware of the risks he would take with such a comeback and are determined that it will not be regarded as a charade.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (May 15, 2014, 9:15 GMT)

wonderful news for england.... england should consider him for 2015 world cup,,

Posted by CricketChat on (May 14, 2014, 12:47 GMT)

Hopefully, Flintoff will manage a respectable time before he hangs his boot for good and not burn all the goodwill he earned during those famous Ashes wins!

Posted by geoffboyc on (May 14, 2014, 10:47 GMT)

In addition to all the other suggestions about why the Flintoff return might happen, the Lancs cricket committee are probably hoping it will divert attention from their role in the current team's plight. No emerging batsmen coming through (thanks Mr Moores) and no replacement for the influential Katich as overseas player. Also a bowling attack no better than before and with a one-year older Glen Chapple also burdened by coaching duties; as if bowling about 40 plus overs every game wasn't enough for a 40 year old. Things are not looking rosy or even competent on this side of the Pennines. Still, in spite of the dubious multi-million ground development there won't be all the hassle of preparing for a Test Match against the Aussies next season.

Posted by disco_bob on (May 14, 2014, 10:45 GMT)

It's England's way of announcing their depth of talent.

Posted by rajuramki on (May 14, 2014, 8:35 GMT)

It is absolutely crazy on the part of Flintoff to try and make a come back . It is even more crazy on the part of Lancashire to entertain the idea of bringing back Flintoff . Even during his playing days,he was not very fit and expecting him to last a season after a 5 years gap is asking for too much . Such come backs can never be successful and Flintoff will only cut a sorry figure.

Posted by android_user on (May 14, 2014, 7:06 GMT)

hey espncrick admin pls install an icon where we can click on liked comments. ...too good opinions ya..

Posted by landl47 on (May 14, 2014, 4:59 GMT)

Totally crazy. Why, he's almost (but not quite) as old as Chris Rogers and Brad Haddin!

Posted by xylo on (May 13, 2014, 23:01 GMT)

he might make a good mentor to Mumbai Indians. ;-)

Posted by AshesErnie on (May 13, 2014, 20:34 GMT)

Lancs should get Flat Jack Simmons back, he'd be ideal for T20 and he's not been retired 25 years yet. Clive Lloyd might be at a loose end on Fridays too, and he can't have lost the magic of the 1975 World Cup Final yet.

Posted by Coastaltown on (May 13, 2014, 18:57 GMT)

Blimey, I live in Ormskirk, might head off to the ground now then.

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David Hopps David Hopps joined ESPNcricinfo as UK editor early in 2012. For the previous 20 years he was a senior cricket writer for the Guardian and covered England extensively during that time in all Test-playing nations. He also covered four Olympic Games and has written several cricket books, including collections of cricket quotations. He has been an avid amateur cricketer since he was 12, and so knows the pain of repeated failure only too well. The pile of untouched novels he plans to read, but rarely gets around to, is now almost touching the ceiling. He divides his time between the ESPNcricinfo office in Hammersmith and his beloved Yorkshire.
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