Flintoff to play as a batsman for Lancashire

Published: Thursday, April 21, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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London:England's star all-rounder Andrew Flintoff has been cleared to play his first match of the County season for Lancashire as he recovers from ankle surgery.

Flintoff will only be able to bat in the Totesport League match against Middlesex at Lord's, as he has not yet bowled at full pace in practice.

It may be recalled that in January, he left England's tour of South Africa midway to have a bone spur removed from his left ankle.

However, it is known that he will miss the Test series against Bangladesh to continue rehabilitation.

But England will hope he proves his fitness to play a full part as an all-rounder in the Ashes series against Australia, which starts at Lord's on 21 July.

"I'm desperate to be back in action," said Flintoff, whose last appearance was England's drawn final Test against South Africa at Centurion.

"It's over 10 weeks since I've had a game but I've felt in decent form in practice and I just want to get going again."

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) medical officer Dr Gregory visited Flintoff in Bolton and at Old Trafford, where he saw him bat and bowl around six overs.

"Dr Gregory spent time with Freddie watching him bat and bowl and there were no mishaps - he looks ready to play," said Lancashire coach Mike Watkinson.

If he gets through the 45-over match with no adverse affects, Flintoff may play in Lancashire's next Championship match against Worcestershire, starting next Wednesday.

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