Andrew Flintoff is expected to return for Lancashire this season in the NatWest T20 Blast, if things go as expected by Lancashire Cricketing authorities.
Flintoff, the man often known for his Ashes heroics, is expected to make what could be one of the greatest comebacks ever in his sport's history. This could be a return on a slightly lower level though it could go a long way in his returning in an England shirt if I am being more optimistic. The last time he played was in Ashes 2009 when he announced his retirement as his body had called stumps.
Though, as he started coaching Lancashire academy Cricketers at Old Trafford, he was tempted into bowling himself, a decision that paid off as he operated at around 80 mph+ without any kind of pain whatsoever in his chronic knee.
Inevitably, Flintoff was tempted into turning his arm over again during the coaching sessions and quickly astonished both himself and all those who saw him by bowling quickly and, crucially, without pain in his aforementioned knee.
"Now he is said to be bowling well into 80 mph-plus, not far off his prime," wrote Paul Newman in the Daily Mail. He also added: "Ironically, he is in much better physical shape than when he played for England and has barely put on any weight since his foray into professional boxing that saw him reach the best condition and levels of fitness of his life."
Lancashire board cricket representative Paul Allott told the Manchester Evening News: "There is an awful long way to go before that happens. We haven't asked him to come back, and he hasn't come to us saying he wants to play.
"Andrew has been down at the ground over the last couple of months and has been mentoring the academy.
"He put his pads on to have a bat and he has been batting and bowling pretty well. But he has not played cricket or done any running around the outfield or taken any catches.
"He has been more than useful helping the lads. Who knows if it will come to more than that?"
Though the signs seem to be good but he still is far away from a comeback, mainly because of the ones close to him who won't be swayed by the fact that he'll risk his knee, and his own fear of failure on a return.
Would he return or will he stay away? Comment below with your opinions.
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