Flintoff set for T20 return after rekindling his love of cricket
The former England star could play for Lancashire in the NatWest Blast tournament this week
FORMER England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff is in line for a shock return to county cricket with Lancashire, and could play in this summer's Twenty20 competition which starts this Friday.
Flintoff, who is now 36, has not played professional cricket since 2009 when he helped England retain the Ashes. After that series he underwent surgery on a knee injury, but was forced to retire from the sport in 2010.
Since then Flintoff has concentrated on his media career, and also briefly flirted with the idea of becoming a boxer, although his career only lasted one (victorious) fight.
However, he still plays club cricket and now seems set for a comeback in the T20 format of the game.
"He is expected to tie up a deal over the next couple of days which could see him make his debut for Lancashire on Friday," reports the Daily Telegraph. "He will help new head coach Glen Chapple with coaching duties and act as an advisor to the young players coming through the club's academy."
But, true to form, his return to action could be delayed by an ankle injury he picked up in training last week. Even if he is not fit for the game against Nottinghamshire on Friday he could appear at Old Trafford the following day.
"If he plays it would complete a remarkable comeback for Flintoff who only started seriously netting at Old Trafford a few weeks ago in order to get fit to play club cricket for St Anne's. He started coaching the club's academy youngsters in the winter but was soon tempted to bowl again and is believed to have rekindled his love for the game which faded after his career was cut short by injury," adds the Telegraph.
The return of 'Freddie' would lend the "relaunched NatWest Blast tournament a dash of celebrity", says Cricinfo. "But both Lancashire and the player himself are determined he will only return if they both feel he can meet cricketing demands."
The website adds that it would be a "huge surprise" if he tried to bowl.