Andrew Flintoff will retire from Test cricket after Ashes series

Andrew Flintoff will retire from Test cricket after Ashes series

England's Andrew Flintoff, right, speaks to the team during cricket net practice at Lord's cricket ground, London, Wednesday

The 31-year-old former England captain, battling with yet another knee injury which made him a doubtful starter for tomorrow's second Test, said he took the decision to quit the longer version of the game as he was tired of dealing with a string of injuries in the past two years.

Flintoff will, however, continue to play in the one-dayers and Twenty20 matches.
"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 told reporters.

"Two of the last four years I've spent just in rehabilitation and I just can't keep doing it for myself, my own sanity, my family and also for the team, because they need to move on as well.

"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," he said.
A veteran of 76 Tests since making his debut against South Africa in 1998, Flintoff's career has been plagued by a spate of injuries and the all-rounder missed 25 of England's last 48 Tests due to fitness issues.

In Tests, Flintoff has accumulated 3708 runs for an average of 31.69 and has scalped 219 wickets. He aggregated 3394 runs for an average of 32.01 and claimed 169 wickets in ODIs.
But the burly all-rounder failed to make much of an impact against India in Tests managing to score only 473 runs in 11 matches for a disappointing average 26.27. He also took 29 wickets. In one-dayers against India, Flintoff scored 708 runs in 30 matches and claimed 37 wickets.
Flintoff was the star of England's 2005 Test series win over Australia as the team regained the Ashes for the first time in 18 years. But in the last couple of years he had not be able to perform to his potential owing to the injuries.

The Lancashire player said he was still determined to play the remaining four Ashes Tests in the current series, despite aggravating a knee injury during the drawn first match which ended on Sunday.
"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," he said.

"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.
"I've been through four ankle operations, I had knee surgery just a couple of months ago and had three jabs in my knee on Monday just to get me right for this Test so I took that as my body telling me that I can't cope with the rigors of Test cricket," he said.

Apart from injuries, Flintoff was also involved in many controversies, including the one with former India captain Sourav Ganguly.
Flintoff shared a cold relation with Ganguly during their days together at Lancashire and it worsened in 2002 when Flintoff's shirt-swirling antics in Mumbai infuriated Ganguly who returned the compliment at Lord's after India had won the Natwest Series Final.

He was stripped of his vice-captaincy after the 'Pedalogate' episode during the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies when an intoxicated Flintoff and a few other English cricketers capsised a pedalo.
Flintoff was again in the news for all the wrong reasons when he missed the bus for England team's bonding session in Belgium ahead of the Ashes series.
Flintoff was awarded MBE after England's 2005 Ashes win and the all-rounder shared the 2005 Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for the ICC player of the year award with Jacques Kallis.

In December 2005, Flintoff was crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year for 2005 -- first cricketer since Botham, who got it in 1981. Flintoff was presented with Freedom of the City award in 2006.

Chronology of Flintoff’s injuries

 * 1999: Breaks foot during the fourth Test in Cape Town and returns home from tour of South Africa.

*2000: Back injury cuts short involvement in tour of Pakistan.

* 2002: Undergoes hernia operation and only appears in first Test against Australia at Brisbane as a substitute fielder because of a groin injury.

* 2003: Shoulder injury rules him out of both Tests against Zimbabwe before he misses Bangladesh Tests.

* 2005: Has surgery on left ankle for the first time.

* 2006: Left ankle injury rules him out of series against Sri Lanka. Has second operation on troublesome joint.

* 2007: Left ankle injury sees him miss first two Tests against the West Indies. Has his third ankle surgery in 15 months and fourth overall. Ruled out of Test series against Sri Lanka.

* 2008: Side strain rules him out of Test and one-day series against New Zealand.

* 2009: Hip injury rules him out of fourth Test against the West Indies. Returns to the Caribbean in time for one-day series.

Returns home early from stint with Chennai Super Kings in the Twenty20 Indian Premier League for surgery on a torn meniscus in his right knee.

Misses home Test and one-day series against the West Indies and ruled out of World T20.

Injures same knee while fielding in last week’s first Ashes Test against Australia in Cardiff.

* Born: December 6, 1977 in Preston, Lancashire, Test record: M: 76, Runs: 3708, 100s: 5, 50s: 25; Avg: 31.69. Bowling: 219 wickets, Best in an innings: 5-58.

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