County news May 27, 2014

Anderson cautious over Flintoff

ESPNcricinfo staff

James Anderson has sounded a cautious note about the potential T20 comeback of Andrew Flintoff but said even if a playing return, five years after he last appeared professionally, does not happen then Flintoff's presence around young players can have a huge impact.

After subsiding in the last week or so, after he picked up an ankle injury, talk of Flintoff returning for Lancashire in the T20 Blast is gathering pace again after he warmed-up with the first team ahead of the second day of the Roses match against Yorkshire.

Lancashire continue to say little about the situation - just that it remains an "ongoing" - but Anderson acknowledged that ensuring Flintoff was ready for the intensity of professional level again could be a deciding factor. Due to his ankle injury Flintoff has not been able to turn out for the 2nd XI.

"I would be in favour if he is fit and bowling well, of course," Anderson said. "With someone who has been out of the game for so long the issue would be fitness and getting up to match intensity."

Flintoff was initially brought in by Lancashire to work with the academy and youth-team players which led him to bat and bowl in the nets. When it was seen how rapidly the ball came out and that the middle of the bat was being located the seeds of a comeback where sown. Regardless, though, of what the playing future holds Anderson sees great value in Flintoff's involvement.

"I think it was quite a smart move from the coaches' point of view," he said. "You can see the young guys being around him and learning from him so to have that knowledge to tap into is great. From a playing point of view we'll see."

Lancashire's next T20 Blast match is on Thursday against Durham at Chester-le-Street before a home fixture against Warwickshire on Friday.