ICL: Indian Cricket League


Flintoff raring to return

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India beware! England coach Peter Moores is confident Andrew Flintoff will be back in action before the end of the summer.Flintoff underwent his third ankle operation at the start of June, missing England’s 3-0 npower Test series victory over the West Indies.

But Moores insists the surgery has proved effective and he expects the mercurial Lancashire all-rounder to return later this summer.

“The first challenge is to get Andrew playing again. Things are going well with his ankle,” said Moores.

“The damage on his ankle was located and it was fixed. It’s nice for a sportsman to know exactly what the problem is and to know that it can be fixed.

“The surgeon is very confident that when Andrew’s back - the ankle will be fully functional again.

“If things go well then we’ll see a fit Andrew Flintoff later on this summer.

“I’m very excited about getting Andrew back in the team because of the way he plays his cricket.”

The Test series against India begins at Lord’s on July 19 and finishes at the Oval on August 9 less than 10 weeks away, so the seven-match one-day series against them starting at the Rose Bowl on August 21 may be a more realistic comeback date.

Understandably Flintoff is raring to go too, and is keen to make people aware that he cannot wait to get back to playing under Michael Vaughan’s leadership after clearing the air with the England captain.

The star all-rounder has rubbished rumours that a rift had developed between the pair over an interview Vaughan gave to respected English publication, The Guardian.

Vaughan told the newspaper he felt the drunken antics of Flintoff and some of his team-mates on a night out during the recent World Cup had affected team spirit.

Flintoff was stripped of the vice-captaincy for the incident in which he had to be rescued after falling off a pedalo, infamously dubbed a ‘Fredalo’.

Describing the furore as “a bit of a storm in a teacup”, Flintoff said: “We sat down and spoke about a few things and, as far as we’re concerned, it’s finished.”

“We’ve got a great friendship and something like this, a bit of a storm in a teacup, isn’t going to affect that.

“I’m looking forward to getting back on the field, playing under him, as quick as I can.

“From my point of view, it’s something that happened a while ago,” he said.

“We addressed the situation at the time. We’ve all started with a clean slate - a different coach has come in. The one thing I’m concentrating on at the moment is not what happened six-eight weeks ago, it’s getting back on the field.

“I’ve had the operation on my ankle, I’ve got a rehab programme in front of me.

“All my focus and all my energy has got to go into that because I desperately want to get out on the cricket field.”

Flintoff is now undergoing rehabilitation following his operation and admits: “It’s going to take a while. I’ve been very sore. To put a time-frame on this is pretty tough. The way I play and the way I bowl, I’ve got to be 100% fit. That’s the reason I had the operation.

“I want to get back to bowling late 80-90mph and to do that I need a fit ankle.”

The man who inspired England to Ashes glory against Australia in 2005 also believes he can be the same bowler when he returns to fitness, perhaps even better.

“I have had ankle operations in the past and come back from them and hopefully I can do again.

“It’s frustrating I’m not playing but I’m confident I can and I have the utmost faith in the medical staff.

“The ankle problems came to a head at Southampton and since then they have lingered. Hopefully, this is the end of it.

“I’m 29 but I feel like a novice as a bowler,” he added. “I didn’t start bowling properly until I was 24 or 25.”

Source:Cricket News

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