Freddie’s Red Rose return?

Flintoff playing for the Red Rose men
Flintoff playing for the Red Rose men
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Lancashire have refused to rule out the prospect of Andrew Flintoff making a shock return to domestic cricket.

The Red Rose county have made no secret of the fact that Preston-born ‘Freddie’ Flintoff has been training with the first-team squad and working with academy players this season, giving rise to speculation over the 36-year-old’s future plans.

Anational newspaper report claimed the former England captain, who quit the sport in 2010 after a succession of injuries, could be tempted out of retirement to feature for his former county in the Twenty20 Blast competition, which gets under way later this month.

The chances of an imminent return are unlikely, although it is believed the situation is ongoing and Lancashire have stopped short of dismissing the prospect out of hand.

“There is an awful long way to go before that happens. We haven’t asked him to come back, and he hasn’t come to us saying he wants to play,” the Lancashire board cricket representative Paul Allott said.

“Andrew has been down at the ground over the last couple of months and has been mentoring the academy.

“He put his pads on to have a bat and he has been batting and bowling pretty well.

“But he has not played cricket or done any running around the outfield or taken any catches.

“He has been more than useful helping the lads. Who knows if it will come to more than that.”

Flintoff has embarked on a successful career in the media since retirement, featuring in a number of television and radio shows for Sky and the BBC.

He also hit the headlines by making a brief foray into boxing in 2012, when he shed the pounds before beating American journeyman Richard Dawson in a poorly-received bout in Manchester.