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England in no rush for Andrew Flintoff

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flintofEngland are refusing to put a date on former skipper Andrew Flintoff’s return to international cricket.

The 30-year-old all-rounder is back playing for Lancashire, taking part in all but one of their pre-season games in Dubai after four ankle operations. And he is aiming to play in the first Test against New Zealand on 15 May.

But England coach Peter Moores said: “We are deliberately not putting a date on it. He has got to be fit and feeling good about himself first.” The England team fly back on Thursday from a successful Test series in New Zealand, having clinched a 2-1 win with victory in the final encounter at Napier.

Moores is now looking ahead to the summer and the return series against New Zealand, which is followed by four Tests against South Africa. The options for both series would be improved considerably if they could call upon Flintoff but Moores is preaching patience.

“Andrew’s progress is very promising. He is bowling and the reports back are good,” added Moores. “The key for him is not to push it until he feels very happy in himself and the medical staff are very happy at where he is at.

“When he’s in the right sort of form then we will make the decision of how and where he will fit into that England team. “It is nice he’s progressing so well because as a cricketer he is one of those player that can make a real difference.”

Flintoff could possibly play 23 days of senior cricket before the first Test, with matches for the MCC against Sussex - in the traditional season curtain-raiser - and all of Lancashire’s fixtures scheduled before then.

And that, believes Moores, could bed in Flintoff for his first Test action since the Ashes series in January 2007. “The progression he’s going through at the moment with Lancashire is for him to get stuck into the season,” stated Moores. “Naturally that will happen and he’ll get a chance to play as a batsman and a bowler and get battle-hardened again in county cricket after a reasonable time out.”

Source:Cricket News

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This entry was posted on Friday, March 28th, 2008 and is filed under General, Cricket.

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