The Ashes 2009

Flintoff to retire from Test cricket

Andrew Miller at Lord's

July 15, 2009

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Andrew Flintoff steams in during a net session as he attempts to prove his fitness for the second Test, Lord's, July 15, 2009
Andrew Flintoff sent down a few pacey overs at Lord's as he attempted to prove his fitness for the second Test © AFP
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Andrew Flintoff has announced that he will retire from Test cricket at the end of this Ashes summer, although he still intends to make himself available for Twenty20 and ODI cricket, and is expected to be fit for tomorrow's second Test against Australia.

Flintoff, who has missed 25 of England's last 48 Tests through a variety of injuries, suffered another fitness scare on the eve of the Lord's Test, when he reported soreness and swelling in the same right knee that required surgery back in April, after he tore his meniscus while playing in the IPL.

"It's not something I have just thought of overnight, it's something that's been on my mind for a while regarding this series," said Flintoff. "With the knee flaring up again and getting the injections on Monday, now is a time I felt comfortable with doing it. There's been a lot of speculation over my future for the past few weeks, so I wanted to get it out there, and concentrate on playing cricket.

"I've had four ankle operations and knee surgery, so my body is telling me things, and I'm actually starting to listen. I can't just play games here and there while waiting to be fit. For my own sanity, and for my family's, I've got to draw a line under it. I've been going through two years of rehab in the past four, which is not ideal."

Prior to England's practice session on Wednesday morning, Flintoff gave the team talk in a sombre atmosphere, and afterwards Paul Collingwood immediately came up and shook him by the hand. "Freddie simply said that these four Tests would be his last in Test cricket," a team insider told Cricinfo. Andrew Strauss, the England captain, said the team were saddened, though not surprised, about Flintoff's decision to stand down from Test cricket.

"As players we've had a feeling this would come sooner rather than later," Strauss said. "We feel sad he's had to make this decision at his age, but we're sure it will motivate him even more for this series."

The knee injury that has threatened his participation at Lord's followed a spirited performance in the first Test at Cardiff, in which Flintoff bowled 35 overs but was once again under-rewarded with figures of 1 for 128. Strauss was optimistic on Wednesday that Flintoff will come through a fitness test and make himself available for selection, and he was seen skipping during England's warm-up in the indoor nets, before padding up for batting practice, then sending down a few pacey overs on the outdoor nets.

"The indications are that he's going to be fine," Strauss said. "He had a good bowl today, we just need to see how he reacts to what he did today before we can be 100% sure. At this stage we are hopeful but we can't be sure.

"When you go in with three seamers, you've got to expect all three to bowl a lot of overs. Fred understands that, but this week in all likelihood there will be four seamers and maybe [they] won't have quite as big a workload. We'd never play any bowler in a Test match who we didn't think could contribute as fully as anyone else."

Though he acknowledged that Flintoff's overall statistics do not bear greatness, Strauss lauded Flintoff's effect on the modern game.

"He's had a dramatic impact in English cricket over the past few years, in the style with which he's batted, and for a long period he's been one of the bowlers in world cricket that batters least like facing, although the figures maybe don't show that," Strauss said. "And also as a personality, he's done a huge amount for cricket in the way he's played with a smile on his face. Test cricket will miss him, there's no doubt about that. I'm sure he'll go out in a style that befits his quality, with a bang, with big performances, and with some stories to tell at the end."

Regardless of his immense stature in the England dressing-room, the statistics of Flintoff's recent form and impact on the Test side are not flattering. Since the 2005 Ashes, he has averaged 28.25 with the bat and 34.68 with the ball in 23 Tests (both figures down on his overall Test record of 31.69 and 32.51), and he has not managed a century or five wickets in an innings in any series since then.

Moreover, he has been unable to impose himself on matches in the same way that he did in his 2005 pomp. Although some leeway has to be made for the quality of the opponents he has faced - Flintoff has often been recuperating during low-key series in preparation for the marquee events - the statistics paint a sorry tale. In the 25 matches that Flintoff has missed since 2005, England have won 12, drawn 10 and lost on only three occasions. In the 23 matches in which he has been present, those numbers are almost exactly reversed - won 3, drawn 7, lost 13.

"Being part of an Ashes-winning team was very special, and so was beating everyone in the world for a period of time, and playing a major part in that," said Flintoff. "I'd have liked my career to kick on after that, but being a professional rehabber for two years makes it pretty difficult to do that. It would have been nice if it had carried on a bit longer, but I've no regrets. I'm happy."

Flintoff received a cortisone injection on Monday, and is sure to play through the pain if he has to. "For the next four Test matches I'll do everything I need to do to get on a cricket field and I'm desperate to make my mark," he said. "I want to finish playing for England on a high and if you look at the fixtures going forward, the way my body is suggests I won't be able to get through that."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo

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Posted by hyperbole on (July 17, 2009, 8:15 GMT)

Overweight and over-bowled, that's why Flintoff is done for. England should have managed him like SA have Kallis - made him into a number 6 who bowls very short spells. As an all-rounder, he stands in the 4th tier - Sobers is out on his own, then Both, Kapil, Imran & Hadlee, then Pollock & Kallis, then Flintoff & Cairns. He should have finished his career with 6000 runs at 40odd and 150 wickets at 27.

Posted by prakash2007 on (July 17, 2009, 6:46 GMT)

Hey Freddie. I will be there in Chepauk to Cheer U for Chennai Super Kings... Looking forward to see u in action in Chennai... ;-) Well done..

Posted by wood on (July 16, 2009, 12:38 GMT)

What a amazing Cricketer is Freddie.It is really a sad day for all of us that he is retiring from test cricket after the Aussie series,not because of the age but due to persistent injuries. We feel that his cricketing career was not handled properly by English management and on the other side he has to blame himself for taking his cricketing career too casually and to some extent due to his drinking habits.It generally happens with the gifted players.They simply do not follow the right path and lacks in discipline and dedication.Freddie's averages do not match with his enormous talent.Perhaps he is the most gifted allrounder after Ian Botham.He is having the ability to change the complexion of the match with the bat or ball . I still believe lot of cricket is there in his career,now he needs a mentor who can guide him properly in the right direction.Come on Freddie you have the guts and the talent,show it to the world, do not runaway due to small injuries. ASHOK BAMBI LUCKNOW

Posted by Sahilbhatias11 on (July 16, 2009, 8:31 GMT)

Freddiee...we love you man.An awesum cricketer and a team man.I just love you because whenever u come..things start happening..looking forward to see u for chennai in IPL...

Posted by nitin_cpp on (July 16, 2009, 8:06 GMT)

Those who doubt Freddie's ability based on STATISTICS let me remind you ..... Statistics are like mini-skirts .. they hide much more than what they reveal. Flintoff was an entertainer much more than he was a cricketing machine. Few cricketers of his generation or even from yester-years can rival the sheer excitement that Freddie generated whenever he came out to bat or loosened up for a bowling spell. I wont take any names but many of the statistically well accomplished players did not have that charisma which makes crowd go crazy. Remember any game exists because of the passion of the fans and this is exactly what Flintoff has done. Incite passion among the followers. Few "legends" were as good entertainers as Freddie and that's what Freddie will be remembered for .... the GREATEST ENTERTAINER OF HIS GENERATION.

Posted by BellCurve on (July 16, 2009, 7:01 GMT)

A LEGEND, EVEN STATISTICALLY Imran Khan was a late bloomers. Botham burned out. Flintoff bloomed late and burned out. But in his mature, uninjured prime (i.e. after the summer of 2002 and before the Ashes of 2006/7) Flintoff played 41 tests, averaging 40.1 with the bat and 27.9 with the ball. How does this compare to the other modern greats? Here goes, in no particular order, the peak 41-match rolling averages for the seven great modern test cricket all rounders: Botham (bat 38.0; ball 24.8; diff 13.2); Kapil Dev (bat 33.8; ball 28.4; diff 5.4); Hadlee (bat 33.0; ball 18.4; diff 14.6); Imran Khan (bat 51.8; ball 17.6; diff 34.2); Pollock (bat 39.0; ball 19.4; diff 19.6); Kallis (bat 73.1; ball 32.9; diff 40.2); Flintoff (bat 40.1; ball 27.9; diff 12.2). What does these numbers tell us? That even statistically Flintoff can hold his head high in the most illustrious company. And this despite very poor career management.

Posted by KK4Cricket on (July 16, 2009, 5:01 GMT)

Go Freddie Go!!!! We love to see you running in with the ball and your typical glances at the batsmen after the follow through. You made a tough but a great desicion which is good for CRICKET. CRICKET needs guys like you.

Posted by Subra on (July 16, 2009, 3:41 GMT)

Test cricket in danger of being upstaged by the upstart T20, needs heroes like Flintoff. Don't harp on statistics, they only tell part of the story. Look around you (if you are at a ground) when Flintoff walks in to bat or takes off his sweater to bowl. Feel the hush of anticipation that hits you. I had the good fortune to watch him on a couple of occasions, and was thrilled by the magnetic force that he created. Pity only 4 more Test matches for Flintoff. I hope he goes out on a high note! Meanwhile, those of you can, savour him while you can. It will be a long time before another like him comes on stage. Farewell Flintoff. Thank you for the memories. May the rest of your life (after Tests) be just as memorable.

Posted by TheDoctor394 on (July 16, 2009, 3:19 GMT)

While I acknowledge Andrew Flintoff's overall statistics don't put him up amongst the greatest of allrounders, I admit I'm a bit bewildered by those who use terms like "ordinary" about him. If a man plays over seventy Tests, and has a batting and bowling average (with over 200 wickets) in the low to mid-thirties, then, taken together, surely that's pretty impressive.

Posted by capnles on (July 16, 2009, 2:43 GMT)

An an Aussie, I too would like to add to the chorus of praise for Andrew Flintoff - such a shame that injury has put a red line through the playing career of such a whole-hearted, talented, good natured cricketer who has always played in a fiercely competitive manner, but always within the spirit of the game. People point to the statistics, but his contribution to world cricket goes beyond numbers; the enduring image of Flintoff consoling Brett Lee after that painful loss in 2005 showed the marks of a man who knew how to win graciously, even when the pain of losing was never far away. Good on you Freddie - I hope you don't celebrate your impending retirement with a repeat of your enormous 2005 performance in the coming weeks.

Posted by Googly Bill on (July 16, 2009, 1:47 GMT)

Thanks for the memories Freddie! The sportsmanship you showed to a devastated Brett Lee in 2005 is held in high regard by us Aussies. And your exploits off the field are great for a laugh too! Cricket needs more characters like you!

Posted by Jaggadaaku on (July 16, 2009, 1:15 GMT)

"Freddy" is a kind of easy to forget as a cricketer. His batting or bowlling is not good enough comparable to World's other Allrounders such as Bothom, Kapil, Imran, Richards or Sobers. He did not achieve 10 wickets in one single TEST match during his whole career yet. Moreover, he was sledging a lot on the ground. If someone is average batsman and/or bowler, but he is outstanding as a human being, could be mamorable forever. But Flintof, I don't think so.

Posted by Woody111 on (July 16, 2009, 0:19 GMT)

Good luck Freddie, an unfortunate casualty of the demands of cricket - bowling in particular. The game is better for having had you play it.

Posted by wgtnpom on (July 15, 2009, 23:57 GMT)

At his best Flintoff was worth three or four players. But unfortunately a combination of injuries and off-field incidents have counted against him and he isn't the force he was in 2005. He's right to go now when they want him to stay than stay when they want him to go, which might have become the case say next year. Let's hope the fact that this announcement has lifted the pressure on him a bit has the same effect in the rest of the series that Botham losing the captaincy did in 81...

Posted by emmersonne on (July 15, 2009, 22:49 GMT)

You are right krik8crazy and don't forget Giles and Trescothick also on that list. Geraint Jones' England career was dead within a year of 2005 and Hoggy's vanished without trace.

Tres, Vaughan, Jones, Jones, Flintoff, Giles, Hoggard.. and Harmison, KP and Bell have all hard a pretty nastgy time of it lately. Is ANYONE still standing from that cursed '05 team? Duncan Fletcher certainly isn't.

Which one of the Aussies has the voodoo dolls? Come on, own up.

Posted by cyborg on (July 15, 2009, 22:40 GMT)

its sad i cant see why he made that choice he looked pretty good against the Australians and now i feel england look deflated ,( if they pick onions) he will be demolished by hussey and pointing HE CANT GO OUT LIKE THAT KNOWING HE IS GOING TO RETIRE.

sad to miss one of the greats , he should play county cricket like his other team mates and enjoy it.

Thank you LEAVE IT TO STRAUSS.

Posted by kentjones on (July 15, 2009, 22:10 GMT)

I am a West Indian and I feel really sad that Freddy Flintoff will no longer grace the test criciket fields afer the present Ashes series. He is one of my favourite cricketers and the test arena will certainly miss him. One cannot judge his worth purely on stats, since he added colour and excirement to proceedings, just the anticipation of his performance is always worth a days entrance fee. He had the ability to change the course of a game with either bat or ball and his talent with either was immensely respected. Good luck FLinty, we will miss you!

Posted by PratUSA on (July 15, 2009, 19:13 GMT)

I knew it's going to happen in near future even though I hoped that Flitoff quits limited overs and opts to play tests. But his body is just not able to stand rigorous of test match bowling. All the best to him in these last tests and wish he has a long future in ODIs and T20Is.

Posted by number-09 on (July 15, 2009, 18:54 GMT)

What goes around comes around. Freddie once laughed at a debutant and told him he will not be around for long. I suppose that is being sporting. Look who is making the decision to leave. Must admit I am a big Freddie fan, and certainly will miss the energy he brings to the English team. 3 years ago I considered him to be the top all rounder, Pacy and a complete and dangerous bat, top fielder, full of character and even more determination. I actually felt young all rounders had to use him as a benchmark, equally good in all disciplines and all forms of the game. Good luck, and lets hope that your body can stand up to the rigors of ODI and 20/20 for a few more years.

Posted by Docdecoza on (July 15, 2009, 18:48 GMT)

When he came to the English national team he was called off due to being over weight. But the way he fought back to inspire not only himself but the whole England team is laudable. He will not be counted in genius and cricketing greats like Bradmans, Sachins, Sobers, Imrans and many but he will be remembered for his quality to inspire English team to take on the cricketing challenges. Those who have the true sense of the "spirit of the cricket" will always remember him

Posted by IndianMigrant on (July 15, 2009, 17:51 GMT)

Freddy is a good alrounder but an average batsmen, decent bowler with a great heart, average fielder but a great catcher. He is close to being a great cricketer than a mediocore one. But unfortunately he never realized his true potential. Eventhough he didn't possess the natural flair like sobers, botham, kapil,akram and imran but he put more heart into his work than all the above.

I cannot forget his antics during the recently concluded test series at india and particularly how he niggled yuvuraj to throw away his wicket during the first innings of chepauk test. But yuvuraj got his revenge in the second innings. Also Flintoff was the only bowler to trouble india throughout that series. If not for flintoff england bowlers would have been cannon fodder for indian batsmen.

Truly test cricket is going to miss a great character. Every cricketer should tip his hat to freddy , the man with a big heart. I dread to think about english cricket without freddy and KP

Posted by tough_cool on (July 15, 2009, 17:36 GMT)

I am not an English, but 'freddie' Flintoff happens to be one of my top 3 favorite cricketers of last 7-8 years, I think the best days of test cricket that I have seen are the 2005 ashes, and I remember one of the rising deliveries to Ricky Ponting from Freddie which all but squared him up completely and unbelievably, and took an edge tot he keeper, that ball will forever remain in my memory.

Posted by davedave on (July 15, 2009, 17:19 GMT)

Good luck for his future. Yes he had a big injury list since 1999 and numerous operations. But he is so called all rounder, barring the 2005 Ashes he had nothing done to his called potential. Had he played for other countries he wouldn't have survived for this long when people compare to other good or great players he is no where near to that club his statistics will show it, players having less than 4000 runs each in both forms of game for the last 11 years are may be good players not greats.

Posted by Chnadraman on (July 15, 2009, 16:50 GMT)

In the world of sports nobody is superior. All the records are to be broken players are to be forgotten. Flintoff is also is just a player. In future there will be more flintoffs in the world of cricket. His name will be easily forgotten as the new stars shine. He did not create any void in the world of cricket Sunil Chandraman sri Lanka

Posted by Krikey on (July 15, 2009, 16:45 GMT)

Thank God!! And thanks, Flintoff -- for taking it out of the hands of the English selectors. Frankly, the English are notorious for being nostalgic.(Even their crime fiction says as much.) So, when they finally managed to win an Ashes, they just refused to realise that 4 years have gone by, and teams have to evolve. Time moves on -- and just because someone played well sometime ago, doesnt make them automatic selections. However, the English never seem to realise this. Thankfully Flintoff and Vaughan have decided to retire, and now hopefully, we can see some sense from the English, and they get back to being the strong opposition that they were in 2004 and 2005. Probably I am hoping too much. But well, is it too much to ask for Bell and Harmison being pensioned off and Broad and Cook and Panesar sent away to tighten up mentally and regain their hunger?

Posted by AJ_Tiger86 on (July 15, 2009, 16:40 GMT)

Anyone judging Freddie by stats alone knows nothing about cricket. He has always given his best for his team. Unlike some of the so-called great Indian cricketers, he never cared too much about personal records. His performance against Australia at Edgbaston 2005 and the spell agianst Kallis last year can't be measured by stats. Test cricket needs players like him. He will be missed for a long long time.

Posted by left_handed on (July 15, 2009, 16:31 GMT)

Congratulations for all the achievements you have made in the 5-day format Fred, you are the best! To me and many others you are the icon of English Cricket! Words are not sufficient to praise your all round capabilities! I sincerely hope you can make a strong statement in the limited over format of the game. You are one of the finest all-rounders the game has ever seen! Long live Freddie!

Posted by krik8crazy on (July 15, 2009, 16:27 GMT)

This is sad but not unexpected. Flintoff has been struggling with injuries for way too long. It's a miracle he is still playing. Looks like the stars of the Ashes 2005 are cursed - Vaughan, Simon Jones, and Flintoff have had career ending injuries.

Posted by BellCurve on (July 15, 2009, 16:21 GMT)

Botham had five phenomenal years. Flintoff had two. Botham contributed massively to England's 1981 Ashes victory. Flintoff to the one in 2005. Botham was a boozer. So was Flintoff. The game needs talented mavericks to prosper, not infallible robots. I hope Freddie can once again conjure up something special for his many fans to remember him by.

Posted by Nipun on (July 15, 2009, 16:18 GMT)

It's a sad decision,but the right one.Flintoff wasn't helping England with the media's constant eye over his fitness.Invariably,England's focus is lost with all the speculation about Freddie's fitness,& they can't be blamed.Hopefully this decision would enable him to play on for a long time.Best of luck to one of the greatest allrounders in the game.

Posted by Shrini on (July 15, 2009, 16:11 GMT)

I am a bit skeptical about the timing of this retirement. Firstly because I still feel he has quite a lot to prove. And secondly because there still is some hope in the English fans that this bloke will regain the pride the English lost in the 2007 ashes.

Posted by avis1001 on (July 15, 2009, 15:51 GMT)

Unfortunately he has to listen to his body. Anyway, he got enough money from IPL to enjoy the rest of his life.

Posted by jrcacupressure on (July 15, 2009, 14:56 GMT)

I look at this travesty from a purely medical one even though I am a cricket nut! Being a very experienced sports physiotherapist I am always amazed when professional athletes seem to take advice and treatment from surgeons as opposed to having good effective conservative treatment. It is the constant, sometimes incorrect, surgery that has accelerated his retirement from cricket's highest level and I am positive that if he had not been advised to have these operations he would still be able to play.

Posted by Vnott on (July 15, 2009, 14:55 GMT)

Freddie should really be moulding himself into a regular no:4 batsman and stay on in test cricket much like what Imran Khan did towards the end of his career. He is a terrific bat who has hardly done justice to his talents. Ofcourse One day and T20 are more lucrative today and it is not a surprise that he has chosen to focus just on them given the injuries.

Posted by AnthoniJi on (July 15, 2009, 14:46 GMT)

Last few months has been obvious that Fred was a liability for england. He has been so injury prone that every day was a mistery. more over English secltors behave like he is he only all-rounder with potential in england. "Seeks and you shall find". In the long run, I think this is good for england.

Posted by Abilash on (July 15, 2009, 14:43 GMT)

Flintoff is a good batsmen in final stages of game he can change the course of match superb bowler bowls short pitch deliveries very well i can say that Flintoff is a good all-rounder England will surely miss him test squad i think they can add Adil Rashid good batsmen and a good bowler and is a good all-rounder Freddie we miss you

Posted by GillyC on (July 15, 2009, 14:28 GMT)

Freddie has been a great player but continual injuries have taken their toll and he has never been able to recapture his form of 2005. I always felt Freddie gave everything to the game - whether with bat or ball he always made things happen.

A true sportsman - I will never forget the image of Freddie consoling Brett Lee at the end of that titanic match at Edgbaston in 2005

Posted by cricketaholic on (July 15, 2009, 14:26 GMT)

Andrew Flintoff has been one of those players who just couldn't do justice to the monumental talent they had. Talent should be guarded by the fire ring of discipline and maturity. Greats like Pele,Bradman,Tendulkar did that so successfully. They were up to the mark while handling the pinnacle of fame and money... But Freddie couldn't do that. It's a pity that Flintoff showed his spark of brilliance only for a few series. It's a pity that that even his stats doesn't completely portray the level of cricket to which he belongs. He will be remembered as a fantastic player...He eluded himself from the "Great Player" Tag. He will be remembered as cricket's Gorge Best for England.

Posted by santhoshkudva on (July 15, 2009, 14:22 GMT)

farewell freddie. flintoff shall be missed. he might be a shadow of his 2005 ashes self, but he is still a force to reckon with. he looked in good nick with the bat at cardiff and was the only bowler who looked like troubling the aussies. flintoff lent the english lineup a good balance, and with him in the side, england had the option of either picking up an extra batsman or an extra bowler. and to top it, he was a safe fielder in the slips. it would be on big task for the selectors to find his replacement, for his are big shoes to fill, in every sense.

however, the timing of announcement of his retirement portrayed selfishness, and it is bound to distract the englishmen from the job on hand.

Posted by kannanisbad on (July 15, 2009, 14:15 GMT)

t20 vs test cricket.

test cricket lost its first wicket

Posted by princealialdabawi on (July 15, 2009, 14:08 GMT)

A mature decision by Flintoff. He has been an irregular in the far too long, and with the board, colleagues and media knowing he isn't available for Test selection after this series will (finally!) allow everyone to move on, something that should have happened regardless. England shouldnt miss him though, they should man up and make themselves a unit regalrdless of who is in the playing XI of every match.

Posted by talk1 on (July 15, 2009, 13:54 GMT)

freddie was the best. I have been watch cricket since i have been 8 and now i am 16. He is my favorite player on england. England wil miss him. Hope England wins the Ashes back for a great player like Fintoff.at least you see Freddie in the 50 and 20 over game.

Posted by GoPoms on (July 15, 2009, 13:20 GMT)

It's about time. England need to move on from this overrated powder puff and blood some new young players if they hope to compete with a side like the Aussies. His stats are poor and he will never be mentioned in the same breath as a great allrounder like Botham. He will always be remembered as the incompetent leader of last ashes series whitewash.

Posted by ed.dixon on (July 15, 2009, 12:51 GMT)

It's a pity, but best for him and the England team. He's clearly never recovered from the heroic efforts he put in during the 05 series. The sight of Freddie tearing into the crease with ball in hand or biffing a fast bowler back over his head are some of the most glorious cricketing moments from the last few years, but it's obvious that it's taken a terrible toll on him physically. I'm glad that he's been able to go on his own terms and hope that he can still play a part in the short forms of the game

Posted by Allan716 on (July 15, 2009, 12:43 GMT)

Flintoff unfortunately is just like Darren Gough. Both great fighters, extremely spirited and they could turn a match single handed on their day. Although, Flintoff will be remembered for his bowling, I think, he never gave his batting the right attention through his career. I personally think, he felt batting was too simple and he did not work to hard at it. I still remember watch a county match on TV where he was batting with Sourav Ganguly against Kent. He covered drove a ball with such tremendous force and limited effort that it created a huge dent in the boundary board. This was back in 2000 and also remember the beautiful knock that he played against Pakistan in third-one dayer of their series in Pakistan in 2000 where he scored 80 odd and helped England chase a score in excess of 300. Freddie will be missed on the Test circuit. Though I hope the limited overs that he bowls will revive his devastating batting. I hope he follows in the foot steps of Sir Ian and opens the batting.

Posted by Dantastic-Bowler on (July 15, 2009, 12:43 GMT)

Freddie will be sorely missed. Not just for his golden form between 2003 - 2005 but for the humble manner in which he went about his game. A genuine nice bloke and a hell of a cricketer (even the Aussies would admit that he could play) As much as it pains me to say it, it is the right time to retire. A cricketing version of Johnny Wilkinson, his body was always breaking down so it comes as no suprise. I just hope he's able to retire on a high by winning the ashes!!!!

Posted by r1m2 on (July 15, 2009, 12:41 GMT)

I think it is about time Freddie retired from test cricket. He is right, spending 50% of his last 4 years in his prime, simply nursing his body cannot be fun. However, I don't think it's the rigours of Test cricket that is to blame for this. I think it's the effect of over consumption of alcohol. This is another side effect of playing more cricket. The more you play, the higher the chance of you winning. And the more Freddie wins the more he parties and the more alcohol he pours into his system. Yet, I am not sad for him to retire from Test cricket. For me, he was always taking up the spot of a front-line bowler, but he was never good enough to be one. He was possibly one of the best back-up bowler ever, in terms of breaking partnerships with his hussle and bustle, like Brian Mcmillan was for South Africa. And he'd definitely have the odd series where he takes 4+ wickets a match. But over all no matter how long he plays injury-free he's not going win any match single handedly. Cheers.

Posted by TMS8137 on (July 15, 2009, 12:39 GMT)

It is understandable that injuries plague players like flintoff who are expected to give it their all in all 3 disciplines. English cricket will miss him more for his impact with the ball than the bat. Who here thinks luke wright can take over his role. Kudos Freddy its been fun watching

Posted by khlfn14 on (July 15, 2009, 12:31 GMT)

Well at last he has retired. it was itching me that when he will retire, he was jsut wasting the time of other talented players and making the ECB mad. However, he was a blessed player with many qualities. In ashes 2005 he was just excellent and superb with both bat and bowl and fielding too. But after that there were just the paths of injuries, month by month he was getting injured and with same problem "the knee".But at the end his body was tired of this long term injury and he retired.But he will be blessed and will be remembered in the hearts of the people. BEST OF LUCK of your future in ODI AND T2O and with the ECB!.

Posted by mardrol on (July 15, 2009, 12:26 GMT)

well another great player test cricket is going to lose.flintoff is the only aggressor in the current english team along with KP.no one can forget his spells in the removal of punter,langer in 05 and kallis last year.i considered him a much better cricketer than wat the stats show

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (July 15, 2009, 12:26 GMT)

Coming so rapidly on the back of Vaughan's retirement, it seems especially sad,though not unexpected. He has become a bit like the ever willing and pugnacious Black Knight at the start of Monty Python's Holy Grail film, always ready to shed a limb for the fight,never mind the consequences. Fred's bowling was obviously a cut above the rest at Cardiff-agressive and this is what will be missed the most, though his batting is incredibly entertaining as well. No doubt the paperazzi will miss him too,sniffing around him to turn misdemeanours into mortal sins for the price of a day's paper. Larger than life characters are too rare in this age of excessive mediocrity and legalism, and once again a real character has paid. I hope he will still play 50 over games and continue to celebrate well.

Posted by azad86 on (July 15, 2009, 12:25 GMT)

those people are really stupid who thnk freddie is nt been a class player.thts really awesome he has been the most colourful player in cricket history. but yes he was struglng for last two years thts true but reason is tht he was never been 100% percent fit after the 2005 ashes.if he was we could hv been seen da same freddie as we seen him in 2005.england gona miss a real charecter in test cricket n we gna miss da cricket hero.

Posted by Shahzad_Tirmizi on (July 15, 2009, 12:24 GMT)

I think it'll make English team even weaker. He is a true fighter & Eng team will miss him badly.

Posted by Kaswan on (July 15, 2009, 12:06 GMT)

Don't go much into his statistics. Injury hit carrers normally don't have glittering averages. He certainly is a cricketer whom people came to watch playing. Much better than many crickters who have brighter averages but "BORES" all the cricket lovers & in this way kills the interest of public in the game.

Posted by ashok490 on (July 15, 2009, 12:04 GMT)

Sad that he chose to dump Tests ahead of T20 and ODIs.Flintoff will be always remembered by oppositions as a hostile and accurate Test bowler.And I am in total disagreement with the statement that England have fared better in matches without him.That England won those Freddie-less matches was because the opponents were West Indies and other minnows and he was part of the team that played India and Australia.Statistics have been unkind to him and he has not been blessed with wickets even he bowled really well..like in India in '08.Nature often doesn't tolerate talent of such abundance and as a result - we haven't yet seen him at his best.Perhaps he may not be remembered ten years later due to lack of mind-boggling statistics..anyway he had the accuracy,determination and hostility that cannot be put on paper.Test Cricket,facing it's death, has now lost it's best all-round talent to T20 and CSK at a time when it most needed him.The decision's come at the right time when Eng must move on.

Posted by crram on (July 15, 2009, 11:56 GMT)

An average cricketer who was overrated. One good series against australians doesnt make him an allrounder. Never had a impact on any team while bowling .

Compared to botham was the most absurd thing according to me because Botham is a great allrounder with great bowling skills in his first 6-7 years and terrific positive batting.

Posted by jackie786 on (July 15, 2009, 11:55 GMT)

Flintoff retiring is a huge blow for all cricket fans and a lesson for all the greedy players especially Indians who stick to their places like Super glue and play till they are kicked out from the team. Few examples are Ganguly and Tendulkar. Ganguly was told by the selectors to retire after the Australian series and please mark my words, Tendulkar will never retire because of the crores he gets from the sponsors just for showing up. He also plays only for records as we have seen time and again when he approaches a century. He is a great player but the most greedy a player that ever lived. He does not care a heck about the many young players coming up in the Indian team and has just blocked their places with his greedy attitude. One must learn from players like Flintoff, Gilchrist, Pollock that if you are injured and cannot give your best you must simply hang your boots unlike Indian players who fake injuries for monetory gains and the fool the already foolish Indian public every day.

Posted by fianchetto on (July 15, 2009, 11:49 GMT)

why not do it the other way? retire from odi and t20 and play tests?...freddie has already etched his name in hall of fame by winning ashes 05...no point in arguing whether among the best..he was a great entertainer when he was fit..period...will always remember him for "over of the ashes" in 05 getting langer and ponting... @kooja - he is no average player...his presence in english team can be easily felt

Posted by RamReddyG on (July 15, 2009, 11:49 GMT)

It would be too difficult to play for 5 long days, through the pain..The england surely would be taking a lot of risk if he is in the team. You can safely replace him by a more genuine bowler like harmisson

Posted by XaViVeK on (July 15, 2009, 11:43 GMT)

Freddie has always been a charismatic player for England. His presence his side boosts the spirits of the Poms. He has been in the web of injuries, most of the time in his career. He has not been a consistent performer for England but whenever he has performed, England has always been a formidable team. He adds a lot of spice to the Poms and he will be surely be missed in the Test squad for his counter- punch.

Posted by boris6491 on (July 15, 2009, 11:42 GMT)

Certainly one of the most overrated cricketers of our time and someone whom I have never admired. But I admire him for this decision because it was CERTAINLY the right one for his country, not just him. England have been sweating on his fitness and dependent on him for much too long in the test arena and now that hes gone, they will have no choice but to think of times beyond Andrew Flintoff and make do without him. As for him, to prolong his career, this is the best decision. Anyways, he is best suited to the shorter form, because he is primarily a bowler who can slog the ball well and considering that he is a bowler, he can no longer bowl the long extended spells required for test cricket while the shorter spells of OD and T20 will be manageable. He will be remembered for his magnificent performance in the 2005 Ashes but equally for the fact that since then and for that matter before then, he has never maintained the consistency that he was earmarked for.

Posted by KTKAndy on (July 15, 2009, 11:41 GMT)

Flintoff, a very ordinary player, never impressed me at all.he doesn't have strong batting skills.he is definitely not a godd all-rounder as some people speaks about him as a best all rounder, i would say he is a bowler more than an all-rounder.

If I was ever to select the England cricket team i would never pick him up for test cricket, but definitely i would give him a chance in odi.

i am really happy that i won't see an useless player in the team anymore. it's just frustrating to see him playing in the 11. Physically he was never fit to play 50 overs game.

And the foolish thing i ever saw is he was the highest paid cricket in ipl, what's wrong with the ipl owners, riduculous. Trust me, they don't know cricket.

He is most ineffective and useless player in the whole players of ipl league.

Thank God I see him walking off today.

Wish him all the best and mr.fricky please change your decision, please.

Andy TCI

Posted by Ramski1 on (July 15, 2009, 11:38 GMT)

Anyone questioning Flintoffs commitment is an idiot, there has rarely been a more commited England cricketer. The Cardiff test clearly shows that Flintoff physically canot cope with bowling >25 overs a day. He has made the logical decision.

Yes he will now play IPL and earn lots of money, but will you see the same passion and fire in the belly when he takes wickets in the IPL no because it just isnt the same.

Thanks Freddy for the memories.

Posted by MartinAmber on (July 15, 2009, 11:36 GMT)

Thanks to Andrew Flintoff for the memories.

Between Lord's 2003 and Lord's 2006, his Test record stacks up against any of the great all-rounders. Something like Imran or Tony Greig's batting average, with Botham's bowling average.

But on the whole, I can't say this is surprising. I can't say we'll miss him, because we've been missing the mid-2000s, match-turning Flintoff for years already. It's depressing, not so much because he won't play Test cricket again, but because his priorities lie with the IPL and cash.

I attended his Ashes preview night in Nottingham last month. Everyone was on his side, and England's. But there was one moment that went down like the proverbial lead balloon. That was when Flintoff said "Come on Chennai SuperKings" and received not the slightest cheer.

Here's to the future of Test match cricket.

Posted by UnbeatableYogeshXI on (July 15, 2009, 11:30 GMT)

I cant understand y retirement of every player is linked to ipl. after having so many injury if player is quitting from test cricket and continuing shorter version (both odi and 20-20) that should be fine.. as test cricket requires more effort and stamina, which he might have thought is not suiting his body... Real sad day for english cricket and for world over all.. truly gem of player and his efforts in ashes 2005 is uncomparable....go freddie go u r true superstar...

Posted by maverick.anupam on (July 15, 2009, 11:29 GMT)

Come on freddie.Fight it out, we havent seen the best of you-Dont give up-Draw inspiration from Waugh,Jayasuriya etc- You atre letting yourself & your country down-thats what separtes winners from losers-Quitters never win & winners never Quit

Posted by Zuhaira on (July 15, 2009, 11:29 GMT)

He is just 31!!! Who would have thought of retiring at this age 2 years back. Agree or not, the IPL is showing its repercussions. More to come I am afraid. Gayle is next in line.

Posted by laks2505 on (July 15, 2009, 11:27 GMT)

Flintoff, you have always been my inspiration, and my greatest hero. It's so sad to see you go. I await your successes in the shorter formats of the game.

Posted by Smoody54 on (July 15, 2009, 11:26 GMT)

For all his accolades he is still very under-rated. How many other bowlers do to Jacques Kallis and Ricky Ponitng what he did in 'those' overs. No one. Don't judge Flintoff by his stats but his presence. A great player, a great ambassador for English cricket and has won respect from every cricket fan on this planet. Injury has blighted what might have been a truly remarkable career. A true legend of the game. You will be missed.

Posted by lesnarthegreat on (July 15, 2009, 11:26 GMT)

I am an Aussie but Freddie done what he had to do and win an ashes series with true grit and determination. He deserves accolades for his contribution for winning the ashes in 05 as it will be the last time in a long time till the Poms beat us again!!!

Posted by cricketaddict000 on (July 15, 2009, 11:22 GMT)

What a great player. Freddie has so much talent and he's still one of the top 3 allrounders in the world, I reckon. For Australians, it's going to be a massive relief although his career is far from over. We're still going to have to face him in limited cricket.

Posted by LMAT on (July 15, 2009, 11:20 GMT)

He was good but no way an all-time great. He had a few good years around 2003-05, the one great ashes series, but not much else.

Posted by 200ondebut on (July 15, 2009, 11:19 GMT)

Test cricket will certainly be a duller place without Freddie

Posted by DesPlatt on (July 15, 2009, 11:17 GMT)

Agree Muflinkinut ; the word great is very overused. Flintoff was very good not great for three yeras not one. Re averages, see my comment about his winning the PCA award two years running.

However, he was not an Imran Khan, a Gary Sobers, or a Wasim Akram or Ian Botham, but in his prime he was as exciting to watch as any of them

Posted by Lakshmana on (July 15, 2009, 11:13 GMT)

good player and understandably a loss to english cricket! But nowhere near the stature of an Imran Khan or a Kapil Dev...

Posted by Normans_Conquest on (July 15, 2009, 11:07 GMT)

A sign of things to come i am afraid to say, when its starts to get tough, pack it in and go for the easy life. Wish i could have given up my main job at 31. Great guy, average cricketer who had an above average couple of years.

Posted by Kooja on (July 15, 2009, 11:05 GMT)

Average player, below-average bat and perhaps, a slightly better bowler than bat. Highly-overrated. He is no Gary Sobers or Kapil Dev.

English players will find it more difficult as less and less of their folks take to cricket. They have to rely on 'imports' like Ravi Bopara or Kevin P. As the country becomes a melting pot, so goes it, to the pot ! Immigrants from Somalia or Euro nations may bring soccer talent, if that, but not cricket. So, the sons of the soil need to take up this game and do better than the likes of Mr Flintoff. Off with you, my dear man ! Dr J

Posted by gzawilliam on (July 15, 2009, 11:02 GMT)

This is so sad. Being an Aussie i hate to say this but he is my cricketing Idol over all others.

But i fear his years of being overwieght and bowling fast and now being still heavy and bowling fast is taking its toll.

If he were to lean up a touch and focus on his fitness more he could still play.

Such a shame.. His bowling action was just poetry in motion. And off the wrong foot too. amazing

Posted by Mazharul on (July 15, 2009, 11:02 GMT)

Why will Flintoff continue T20? Money is the vital part. Now it's true also in cricket. So sad. Save cricket...

Posted by jamrith on (July 15, 2009, 11:02 GMT)

Sad to see Flintoff ride off into the sunset but I think it's the right decision. However, I am not so sure whether he can manage the frenetic pace of T-20/ IPL with jam-packed schedules. I am sure the Aussies, given as they are to schadenfreude, will be delighted.

Posted by CricketPissek on (July 15, 2009, 10:59 GMT)

shame.. one of the most entertaining cricketers around, as well as being a dominating personality. test cricket is poorer without him. especially at a time it needs more characters like him to keep the game interesting. oh well!

Posted by Zuhaira on (July 15, 2009, 10:57 GMT)

Have to say he made the right call. But is it a move to prolong his IPL career? I guess so.

Posted by Suresh_Joseph on (July 15, 2009, 10:55 GMT)

Very simple decision, if you bring IPL's big bucks into the picture. Two years ago, Flintoff would probably have thought harder about this decision, would have contemplated being selective about playing certain series and tours and missing out on others... None of that now. In the last couple of years, Flintoff hasn't been the first to make this decision and he certainly won't be the last. You never know, Brett Lee might follow...

Posted by arup_g on (July 15, 2009, 10:53 GMT)

its sad that it has come to this but I think he has made the right decision. If he can't be fully fit for the tests, its best he isn't considered in the selection at all. Now England can concentrate on picking a full XI without worrying about an injured Flintoff. It's now time for all the Domestic all-rounders to step up and show what they are worth. He will be still useful in the shorter format though.

Posted by Knights2Warriors on (July 15, 2009, 10:52 GMT)

Nice Decision Freddie...Concentrate on the shorter version of the game and build an impact there. One of the best allrounders

Posted by scritty on (July 15, 2009, 10:49 GMT)

Muflinkinut might find it amusing. I douubt it though. Flintoff is a trier. A whole hearted cricketer capable of changing games. He has not done so in 4 years. I doubt whether he will in the next 2 months, but he deserves a chance.Last week he bowled quicker than Johnson (and faster than Lee had at Worcester) indeed faster than Akhtar has in the last 4 years as well. Just a few tenths short of 95MPH. His forst spell of the game was rivetting viewing. He had 3 good years (6 seasons) 2003, 2004 and 2005. I dount anyone in England cares what Muflinkinut thinks, In England we have plenty to be happy with. Full test grounds every day, full ODI grounds, full 20/20 grounds, in fact cricket is thriving. We are one of the few countries that would carry on quite happily without Indian money. I say this because his post degenerated into an "I don't like England" tone..when that really wasn't the topic. A sad and bitter post from Muflinkinut , clearly a sad and bitter little man

Posted by butane_souls on (July 15, 2009, 10:44 GMT)

Surely the 3 formats of the game on top of trainings & exhibition matches will accelerate the premature retirements of top players especially all rounders such as Flintoff. I wished he stayed in the test format rather than the shorter versions, but the times are a' changing & the shorter versions of the game has gain great significance & appeal with the public & players.

Posted by AJ_Tiger86 on (July 15, 2009, 10:41 GMT)

No matter what people say, Freddie Flintoff will be remembered in cricketing history as the greatest all-rounder that ever lived. Good luck Freddie.

Posted by DesPlatt on (July 15, 2009, 10:41 GMT)

Good comments above acknowledging his stature. There have been plenty of comments this summer saying he was overrated ( not on this site) but you don't win the award from your peer group two years running if you are overrated. His fellow players know who gets wickets for the bowler at the other end and that the figures don't tell the full story.

Posted by Muflinkinut on (July 15, 2009, 10:29 GMT)

I always find it amusing how English fans are so in love with Flintoff. The guy's record is hardly that impressive, he's always been just slightly above average.

His overall test batting average is only just over 31 and his bowling average is just over 32. Neither one is anything to get excited about!

I understand that English cricket hasn't had much to shout about for many years now, so sorry if it's hard to swallow, but it's the truth.One good season does not make someone great and he will certainly not be remembered as as a great player anywhere outside of England.

Posted by freddiefanforever on (July 15, 2009, 10:24 GMT)

I still can't believe it that Fred would give up so easily. I bet his detractors will be celebrating today.He was a drunken joke for some but for some he's much more.He's been the reason I fell in love with test cricket. He's the guy I look upto , he' s been my inspiration. Ever since I've been following cricket. A genuine guy with a great heart. I will forever be his fan, test cricket will surely miss his passion,enthusiasm to play for his nation. I still feel its too soon for him to hang up his boots!

Posted by CRam on (July 15, 2009, 10:19 GMT)

A true and gifted all rounder, and one of a rare breed of cricketers who could singlehandedly catch the game by the scruff of its neck, is retiring, and world cricket will be the poorer for Freddie's retirement. It makes you also wonder if the grind and fatigue of modern day cricket is good for the cricketer, or for cricket itself.

Ram

Posted by ianktravis on (July 15, 2009, 10:10 GMT)

Had a feeling that this was coming. Fit and firing on all cylinders, Fred was and still can be a wonderful cricketer. Unfortunately, the last four years have been a vicious circle of injury, recuperation, pitched back into the action against high quality opponents, and get injured again. For about three years to the end of the Ashes 2005, Fred was indeed the best cricketer in the world. Injury means he's no longer the player he was, but let's hope there's some of the old magic left to take the Ashes from the 2009 Australians. Fred, Test cricket won't be the same without you.

Posted by SSDas on (July 15, 2009, 10:08 GMT)

It's just so devastating that someone who loves the game and loves England as much as Freddie does has been forced out because of injury. Thanks for all the memories Fred.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (July 15, 2009, 10:04 GMT)

Not exactly the most shocking news of all time and widely expected. Andrew Flintoff has done great things for England, but it is obvious that his body is no longer up to the rigours of Test cricket (if it ever was). In a sense it will even help England because it will allow them to move on from the permanent "cult of Freddy" and the feeling that, when he is out injured, people are just deputising (look at Jimmy Anderson's figures in matches with and without Andrew Flintoff). It's time to move on. There will be a more settled side and, with luck, a more successful side because of it.

Posted by bensta on (July 15, 2009, 10:03 GMT)

I think this is the right decision. His body has suffered over the last 4 years since his purple patch from 2003-2005. He's been a great servant and talisman to English cricket throughout this decade. He'll be sorely missed and will hopefully go out with a bang not a whimper with some heroics at Edgbaston and Headingley after being rested at Lords.

Thanks for the memories Freddie!

Posted by BrianCharlesVivek on (July 15, 2009, 10:02 GMT)

Sad.

A fully fit Andrew Flintoff slowly and casually charging in and effortlesstly bowling over 90 mph, is one of the fascinating sights in test cricket. England have will hardly have any charisma when he leaves.

But Freddie, you have accomplished a feat which every English player would dream to do in their lifetime - Winining the Ashes. You have done enough. I would anyday remember the 2005 Ashes as Flintoff 's, more than anybody else.

Now waiting to see you in Action for Chennai Super Kings. :)

Vivek SR, India.

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Andrew Miller Andrew Miller was saved from a life of drudgery in the City when his car caught fire on the way to an interview. He took this as a sign and fled to Pakistan where he witnessed England's historic victory in the twilight at Karachi (or thought he did, at any rate - it was too dark to tell). He then joined Wisden Online in 2001, and soon graduated from put-upon photocopier to a writer with a penchant for comment and cricket on the subcontinent. In addition to Pakistan, he has covered England tours in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007
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