Lee set to quit Tests to prolong career

leeBrett Lee could be set to follow in the footsteps of Andrew Flintoff, Jacob Oram and a number of other high-profile cricketers by retiring from Test cricket in a bid to prolong his one-day and Twenty20 career. According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, Lee is expected to confirm his decision at a press conference on Friday.

At the age of 33, he currently lies fourth on the list of Australia’s all-time Test wicket-takers, with 310 victims in 76 Tests dating back to his debut in 1999. However, he has not played a Test since suffering a stress fracture of the foot during Australia’s home series defeat against South Africa at Melbourne in December 2008.

I’ll always put England before Twenty20 cash – Flintoff

flintoffAndrew Flintoff may have turned down a central contract but insists that England remain his top priority, ahead of several domestic Twenty20 deals.

Flintoff retired from Tests after the successful Ashes campaign and had rejected an ECB incremental contract soon after. There was speculation that he would become a Twenty20 freelancer, playing full-time in various domestic leagues around the world. He is already the IPL’s most expensive player – along with Kevin Pietersen – after signing an annual US$1.55m deal with the Chennai Super Kings earlier this year.

Oram pondering international future

The latest in a long list of injuries has reportedly prompted New Zealand allrounder Jacob Oram to consider his international future. A hamstring problem had ruled him out of New Zealand’s unexpected run to the finals of the recent ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa.

“I am obviously gutted with my latest injury and missing out on an ICC event – these events are particularly special,” he told the New Zealand-based Sunday News. “At the moment I am spending some time assessing my future and trying to work out what is best for me and New Zealand.”

The next time I get injured, I will be gone – Flintoff

flintoffWhile rumours of his future career moves continue to swirl, Andrew Flintoff has admitted that he is one injury away from calling it quits. Flintoff is to spend the next three months in Dubai to aid his recovery from the latest operation to his right knee and make a return to England’s one-day team as their star allrounder, but did not mince words when assessing himself.

“The next time I get injured, I will be gone,” he was quoted as saying by PA Sport. “Realistically, with the operation I’ve had, I have a limited shelf-life. I’ll try to draw that out for as long as I can.

Flintoff nearly quit during Ashes tour

flintoffAndrew Flintoff has admitted that he gave serious thought to resigning the captaincy once the Ashes had been lost following the third of England’s five defeats of their disastrous tour of Australia in 2006-07, adding that the final weeks of that campaign resembled a “booze cruise” as he and the squad sought a release from the pressures of constant defeat.

In a Daily Mail serialisation of his forthcoming autobiography, Flintoff acknowledges that there were times during the latter stages of his England career, and particularly on that Ashes tour, when he was “less professional” with alcohol than he might have been, but blames a lack of support from the rest of the squad, not least the coach, Duncan Fletcher, for the way in which the situation deteriorated, culminating in the infamous “Pedalo” incident in St Lucia in March 2007.

Flintoff to help coach UAE

flintoffAndrew Flintoff will help coach the UAE national team while he recovers from his latest operation in Dubai.

His agent, Andrew “Chubby” Chandler, told The Times the work was part of a deal struck with Dubai Sports City where Flintoff will undertake treatment in the coming months. The arrangement will be informal and he will not have an official role.

“A partnership has been agreed to use their gym and facilities as a base for his rehabilitation,” Chandler said. “I believe he will be one of the first people to use them. In return he will be carrying out some coaching for the UAE national team over the next six months. There’s been good growth in UAE cricket in the last few years and Andrew felt that he wanted to give something back.”

End meaningless tours – Graeme Smith

smithSouth Africa’s captain, Graeme Smith, believes that Andrew Flintoff’s decision to turn down his ECB central contract in favour of a “freelance” career has set a precedent that the ICC cannot afford to ignore.

Speaking to Cricinfo on the eve of the Champions Trophy, the second-biggest event in the ODI calendar, Smith said that the international game was going to have to adapt to its changing environment and cut down on the current glut of “meaningless” contests, if more of the world’s leading players are to be prevented from following Flintoff’s example.

Flintoff rejects ECB central contract

flintoffAndrew Flintoff has confirmed that he has rejected the offer of a one-day contract with the England & Wales Cricket Board, and will instead become the world’s first freelance cricketer in a bid to maximize his considerable earning potential in the final years of his career.

Flintoff retired from Test cricket last month following England’s Ashes victory at The Oval, meaning he no longer qualified for one of the ECB’s full central contracts. He subsequently underwent a knee operation that will keep him on the sidelines for at least six months, but on Friday he was offered an incremental contract to cover his limited-overs appearances. The option of lucrative Twenty20 deals from the IPL and beyond, however, has proved too tempting to resist.

Flintoff mulls Twenty20 freelance role

flintoffAndrew Flintoff is giving serious consideration to becoming a freelancer cricketer according to his manager, Andrew Chandler, in a Sunday newspaper. Flintoff has already received a number of offers, but his recent knee surgery means he will be sidelined for at least six months. On Friday he was awarded an incremental contract by the ECB, but the option of lucrative Twenty20 deals will be very tempting.

Flintoff ’s freelancing would have followed the route expected to be taken by Australian allrounder, Andrew Symonds, who is also eyeing several Twenty20 opportunities around the world after his national career stalled due to disciplinary issues.

Flintoff suffers deep vein thrombosis

FlintoffAndrew Flintoff’s recovery from knee surgery has suffered a setback after the ECB revealed that he was suffering from deep vein thrombosis in his right calf.

The condition, often associated with long-haul airline flights, is caused by blood clotting and can be fatal if it goes undetected. However, a statement from the ECB medical team described the setback as “a common complication of surgery”, adding that it would “require a simple course of treatment and will not complicate his recovery from surgery”.