Flintoff to attend England practice


Published: Saturday 17th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Former England captain Andrew Flintoff is set to meet up with the national team during practice at The Gabba on Sunday.

The 37-year-old all-rounder retired after the triumphant 2009 Ashes but made a Twenty20 comeback last summer and is in Australia having earned a Big Bash contract with Brisbane Heat.

England are in town ahead of their Tri-Series clash with India on Tuesday and an ECB spokesman confirmed that Flintoff would be linking up with the squad at nets.

The move is understood to have been instigated by head coach Peter Moores, who was keen to have Flintoff around the side during their time Down Under.

Flintoff was a key figure for the national side during Moores’ ill-fated first stint in charge between April 2007 and January 2009, and the pair also share a Lancashire connection, as former coach and former star player, respectively.

It is not known whether or not fan favourite Flintoff will take an active part in nets, though he is match fit having turned out seven times in the past month for his BBL franchise.

Regardless of active participation, Flintoff is expected to address the squad during a training session that is due to take place at 2pm local time (4am GMT).

Flintoff is well known to several members of the current English touring party, having taken the field alongside James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Ian Bell during his international career.

But since calling time on his England days, he has played virtually no role whatsoever with the team.

He was soon swept up by a flurry of media projects, including panel shows, reality television and a one-off boxing match in December 2012.

For five years he was essentially lost to the game that made him one of Britain’s best-loved sportsmen, and he caught many by surprise with his return to cricket last summer.

Injury restricted him to just two appearances for Lancashire in the group stages of the NatWest T20 Blast, but he made a dramatic return to centre stage in the final of the competition.

Having only been picked due to the late withdrawal of Kabir Ali, Flintoff dismissed Bell with his first ball and struck two nostalgia-filled sixes as he took Lancashire within sight of their second-innings target.

That earned him a call to head for Brisbane this winter, and though the Heat have struggled in the tournament, Flintoff’s regular appearances on player mic and in the commentary box have proved a big hit.

It has also paved the way for him to return to the England fold, however briefly.

Published: Saturday 17th January 2015 by The News Editor

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