Flintoff rails against violent Britain

flintoffAndrew Flintoff believes that compulsory sport in schools would help to improve the state of modern Britain, after admitting that, as a parent, the prospect of one day letting his daughter go out at night in the country’s big cities fills him with dread.

In a wide-ranging interview with GQ magazine, Flintoff recalled how his involvement in age-group cricket “kept him out of trouble” as a teenager, but feared that Britain’s modern youth didn’t have the same willingness or opportunity to get involved in sporting activities.

Collingwood calls for brave campaign

collingwoodEngland captains have been two-a-penny in the past few months, but if Paul Collingwood looked a little nervous as he faced the media on the eve of his return to the role, it was not because he has taken over a sinking ship in the manner of his immediate predecessors, Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen. Quite the opposite in fact.

For the first time in a long time, England have rediscovered that winning habit, and as the Ashes begin to loom, so too does the invidious nature of Collingwood’s three-week tenancy. On his watch, England’s precious momentum could conceivably be boosted by a glorious maiden triumph in a major global event. More likely, however, it stands to be dented by another ignominious failure to match the skills and chutzpah of the more established limited-overs nations.

Ponting warns England against half-fit Flintoff

pontingAustralia’s captain Ricky Ponting believes that England will be taking a massive gamble if they risk playing a half-fit Andrew Flintoff in the Ashes later this summer, and offered a veiled criticism of the decisions of both Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen to take part in the recently concluded Indian Premier League in South Africa.

Facing the media at Trent Bridge following the Australian squad’s arrival in England on Thursday morning, Ponting spoke of how “relaxed and rejuvenated” he felt after opting out of the IPL and taking a four-week break from the game, and suggested that in hindsight England’s star players might have been better off following his example.

Flintoff ruled out of World Twenty20

flintoffYorkshire’s legspinner Adil Rashid has been called into England’s ICC World Twenty20 squad as a replacement for Andrew Flintoff, after the England management conceded that Flintoff would not be fit following his recent bout of knee surgery.

Flintoff, 31, sustained a tear to the meniscus in his right knee while playing for Chennai Super Kings in the recent Indian Premier League. Though he was named in England’s squad for the Twenty20 tournament that gets underway against Holland at Lord’s on June 5, the likelihood of him recovering in time was always slim.

No room for error in short series

MorganMatch facts
Sunday May 24
Start time 10.45 (9.45GMT)

Big Picture
This is now a two-match series after the abandonment at Headingley which gives both sides even less room for mistakes. Each team is looking towards these matches as a chance to build some form and momentum before the ICC World Twenty20. West Indies are in desperate need of something to boost their spirits after a miserable few weeks.

Flintoff expected to miss World Twenty20

flintoffEngland could be forced to go into next month’s ICC World Twenty20 without the services of their premier allrounder, Andrew Flintoff, after he revealed that he has yet to start running after undergoing surgery on a knee injury sustained during his brief stint at the IPL in April.

Flintoff was one of 15 players named in England’s squad for the tournament, which starts at Lord’s on June 5. But England could have to name a replacement if he cannot prove his fitness in the next three weeks. “I’d love to play in the Twenty20,” he told Sky Sports, “but that might be too tight.”

Collingwood favourite for Twenty20 captaincy

collingwoodEngland’s selectors are having a busy time of it and two days after naming a new-look Test squad the ICC World Twenty20 party will be unveiled at Lord’s on Friday with all eyes on who will take the captaincy.

The strong suggestion is that the leadership will return to Paul Collingwood less than a year after he resigned alongside Michael Vaughan and just a matter of weeks since he said he didn’t want the job. Although he had some success as one-day captain – notably a series with away against Sri Lanka – he also had his fair share of problems.

Familiar problems for England selectors

andyAndy Flower celebrates his 41st birthday today, and as he blows out his candles, he will be making a few wishes for the summer ahead. Top of that list will be a successful Ashes campaign, but before that England must overcome West Indies and regain the Wisden Trophy. It’s a challenge they can ill-afford to take lightly.

On Wednesday the selectors will announce the squad for the first Test at Lord’s, and it will be Flower’s first real chance to put his imprint on selection. Had he harboured any doubts as to the difficulties of the England coaching post, he was rudely awakened with Andrew Flintoff’s latest injury, which will create further questions at No. 6 to go with the already vexing problem of the No. 3 position and the third fast bowler.

Flintoff injury huge blow – Pietersen

flintoff As Andrew Flintoff prepares for his latest trip to the operating table Kevin Pietersen, England’s other million-dollar IPL star, admitted it was a massive blow for England, but said players can’t be stopped from joining the event.

“It’s going to be very difficult for boards to pull players out of tournaments like this when you’re playing with the best players in the world,” Pietersen told the Guardian. “You can’t have one rule for some and another rule for others. But it’s a huge blow come the summer for England.”

Flintoff returns home to undergo surgery

flintoffAndrew Flintoff has returned home from the Indian Premier League to undergo surgery on a torn meniscus in his right knee.

Flintoff had been appearing for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL when he felt discomfort in his right knee. The Chennai medical staff immediately contacted ECB’s chief medical officer Dr Nick Peirce. Scans were taken of the right knee in a Durban hospital and they detected a slight medial meniscal tear and after these were viewed by Peirce it was decided that Flintoff should return to London.