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April 17, 2006
Andrew Flintoff expressed his desire to lead England on a long-term basis, saying that he enjoyed his new role as captain during the tour of India.
Flintoff took over after Michael Vaughan, the regular captain, was forced to withdraw from the tour early due to a knee injury. With England due to take on Sri Lanka for a three-Test series starting May 11 at Lord's, it seems highly likely that Flintoff will lead the side again, with Vaughan making slow progress in his recovery. At the moment, he stressed that his priority was to spend time as much time possible with his family, after a gruelling tour of India.
"I would have liked to have been captain under different circumstances but it came along here and I enjoyed it," said Flintoff. "Maybe further down the line it is something I would like to do but at the moment I have done this trip and I am waiting for Vaughany to come back now. We don't know what the script is with him at this stage, we are waiting to find out.
"But once I get home I am totally switching off, not thinking about anything, having a couple of weeks at home with the family, spending time with Rachel, Holly and my new son. Any other thoughts will not enter my head."
Leading a depleted side, Flintoff shouldered the burden admirably, performing well with both bat and ball to help England square the Test series 1-1. However, England were unable to find their feet in the ODIs, losing 5-1, with Andrew Strauss leading the side after Flintoff opted to sit out the last two games.
With the magnitude of the defeat aside, Flintoff said that the tour was a good learning experience for the youngsters in adapting to different conditions.
"On these flat tracks against a good Indian side you do learn quite a bit," he said. "Sometimes in England when you play on green seamers everything falls into place but when you play somewhere like this you learn a lot as cricketers and probably something about the rest of the side as well."
Since the Ashes victory last year, England have struggled to field full-strength teams due to a speight of injuries to key players. Flintoff also dismissed suggestions by Matthew Hayden earlier that the team relied heavily on him.
"When you look at last summer when we played Australia, every Test match was a team effort. The one strength of this England side is that when we play well it is different people doing things. Somebody at certain times sticks their hand up and takes responsibility - I play my part within the side, so too do ten others."
He added: "We have seen new people on this trip and others have got experience as well which augurs well for this summer and a year's time."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.