Ashes hero and former England captain, Andrew Flintoff, could be set to make a comeback to cricket with his boyhood club – Northern League side, St Annes – after requesting a registration form through a family member.
The all-rounder retired from the game four years ago due to a series of knee injuries. But having been invited to participate in a charity T20 match at Lord’s this summer, Flintoff is now considering a return to the local club he played for before making the leap to Lancashire.
After so much time away from the game, playing for St Annes would ease the 36-year-old back into the shortest format of the sport.
Flintoff made contact with the club via his grandfather, who is a regular patron at the Fylde side. In the aftermath of the announcement, the club’s chairman, John Cotton, has spoken to BBC Manchester of the buzz surrounding the possibility of a comeback.
He told the regional radio station: “We’re all very excited about the prospect of his coming back to the club where he spent a few years when he was a teenager.”
Cotton went on to explain how this cracking comeback has thus far developed: “His grandfather comes into the cricket club each morning.
“He said Andrew had been invited to play in a charity game at Lord's in July, and he may wish to keep his hand in by playing some Twenty20 games for St Annes and asked for a registration form. I've no reason to believe he wouldn't [complete it].“
The surname is synonymous with English cricket, and could provide an outstanding opportunity for the local club, if they were able to field Flintoff in a T20 match.
"Twenty20 gets well supported anyway and we'd expect to get some quite large crowds. The games are played in the evening. Hopefully he'll be able to come and play, and excite some of the local people," added the chairman.
Since having to call time on his career when injuries took their toll on his fitness, Flintoff has gone on to produce a very successful – and varied – career path for himself, away from the cricket square.
He can often be seen on TV as one of the team captains on Sky 1’s A League of Their Own which often sees the 6”4 athlete put through his paces in various physical challenges.
But the Lancastrian has also delved into a completely different – and unexpected – sport. In November 2012, Andrew Flintoff competed in his first professional boxing bout. A points decision declared victory for Flintoff against American, Richard Dawson.
However, it is in cricket whites that Freddie Flintoff is most fondly remembered. Over the course of 79 Test matches, he averaged over 30 with the bat and took 226 wickets.
A true all-rounder, the double Ashes victor was integral to England’s successes in 2005 and 2009, where he demonstrated some truly inspirational batting, bowling and fielding exploits.
For someone who had their career curtailed by injury, it would be great to see Andrew Flintoff back on a cricket field, even if we only garner a glimpse of his former ability.
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