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Flintoff To Retire From Test Cricket After Ashes

By on July 15, 2009

Andrew Flintoff

London, July 15 (IANS) Former England captain and all-rounder Andrew Flintoff Wednesday announced his retirement from Test cricket after the Ashes, admitting that his injuries have conquered him.

‘My body has told me it’s time to stop. Since 2005 I’ve had two years when I’ve done nothing but rehab from one injury or another,’ Flintoff said, adding that he had conveyed the decision to his teammates before the practice session here Wednesday.

‘It’s been something I’ve been thinking about for a while and I think this last problem I’ve had with my knee has confirmed to me that the time is now right (to quit Test cricket),’ said Flintoff, who was ICC’s player of the year in 2005.

a series of injuries have kept Flintoff out of cricket since 2005. The 31-year-old Flintoff has missed 25 of England’s last 48 Tests and is even doubtful for the second Test against England at Lord’s from Thursday. He aggravated his knee injury while bowling in the first Test at Cardiff and Monday took some injections as a desperate measure to get fit for the second Test.

‘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. 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,’ said Flintoff, who played a stellar role in winning the Ashes for England in 2005 after 18 years.

‘I’ve chatted to Andrew Strauss and he is very supportive but I will make my decision on whether I will be fit enough to play in the Test match and not because I want to play one last Test for England at Lord’s,’ he added.

Flintoff said this decision will now help him to extend his One-day and Twenty20 career. Since making his Test debut at the age of 20, Flintoff has been struggling with his persistent back, hip and groin problems and also underwent four ankle operations.

‘I love playing Test cricket, but the decision has been made for me – I don’t think I’ve been left with any other choices. I’ve not been playing Test cricket very often over the last few years so it’s bitterly disappointing but it’s something I’ve not been doing very often anyway.

‘It’s also important for the team that I make this announcement because they need to move on. They can’t keep waiting for me to get fit or for me to play a game here and there – they need to give someone else a chance to make their way in the game.’

‘I would have liked to have stamped my mark more, but I had three years from 2003 to 2005 when I had everything going my own way. I got a few man-of-the-series awards on the bounce and I tried wholeheartedly and gave my best every time I went out there.

‘Since 2005 I have just been plagued with injury so I’ve got the opportunity now to finish on a high by helping England to win the Ashes and it will give me great pleasure if I can play my last Test at the Oval and we can win the Ashes – it doesn’t get any bigger than that.’

Flintoff has played 75 Test over a span of 11 years and has picked up 212 wickets besides scoring 3,658 runs including five centuries.

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