Friday, November 6, 2009

Flintoff: I won't overdo it

Andrew Flintoff has promised not to compromise his England and Lancashire commitments by over-stretching himself.

The 31-year-old all-rounder is currently recovering from knee surgery following his retirement from Test cricket in the summer and when he returns to fitness he will do so with ambitions to be the world's best limited-overs cricketer.

Part of that plan involves him taking control of his own playing schedule, something which led to him rejecting an incremental ECB contract earlier this year.

Instead, he will be able to pick and choose his own assignments and the indications are that he will attract lucrative offers from almost every major cricketing country.
But, having signed a three-year deal to continue as a one-day player for Lancashire, Flintoff insists he will not compromise his fitness for club or country by taking on too much.

Flintoff told Sky Sports News: "We've looked at my injuries over the last few years and that's why I gave up the longer form of the game.

"I was struggling to get through 20-25 overs day in, day out or week in, week out and it was taking its toll on my body. I'm not going to give up Test cricket and then kill myself playing any other cricket I can find.

"I want to play tournaments and games which excite me. The IPL is obviously one of them, and I'm contracted to Chennai for another year, and there's Lancashire and England too, if selected.

"Personally, I'd also like to try and play in Australia. I wanted to go at 16 but my Mum wouldn't let me. I worked at Woolworths instead, but as I said, I won't be killing myself by playing anything and everything."

Reflecting on his ongoing recovery, Flintoff appeared to backtrack somewhat from his previous declarations that he would be ready to feature in the one-day leg of England's trip to Bangladesh in February.

"It's going slowly, but hopefully everything can go according to plan and I can get back in the nets and get practising again because I'm desperate to get back to it.
"I've had 10 weeks on crutches so it feels strange walking again and there are some strange feelings around my knee. There's a lot of hard work ahead of me to get back on the cricket field and when that's going to be I can't say at this stage.
"I did say I'd like to go to Bangladesh in the one-day squad but whether that's unrealistic I'm not sure."

As for his Old Trafford future, Flintoff was clear in his aims.

"To sign a new deal is what I wanted to do. I've played for the club since I was nine and I don't want to play anywhere else in county cricket," he said.

"I've got personal ambitions but I've got team ambitions as well. I've won two trophies at Lancashire. I've been at this club a long time and I want to add to that.
"Personally, yes I do want to be the best one-day player in the world, it's something which I feel I can do. Just playing the two forms of the game I can focus all my attentions on trying to be that player.''

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