Flintoff goes to Lancashire for more cricket

Published: Saturday, May 6, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Manchester:Andrew Flintoff is set to make his first appearance of the season for Lancashire this weekend with the England all-rounder wishing he could do more for the Old Trafford-based side.

Flintoff, who could find himself captaining England in next week's first Test against Sri Lanka with Michael Vaughan still sidelined by a knee injury, has been cleared by the national team management to play in Lancashire's C and G Trophy One-day match against Northamptonshire on Sunday.

"It will be nice to go out there in Lancashire colours and play for them," said Flintoff, at Old Trafford signing copies of his best-selling autobiography 'Being Freddie'.

"I would love to play much more and I've looked at playing more, but it seems impossible. I don't know how much I'm going to play this summer - it depends on the international calendar.

"There's a lot of talk about players being rested from various forms of cricket, but the sheer volume of cricket means it's getting harder and harder.

"As it is, it's just so hectic, so this is an important game for myself and for the team."

A domestic One-day game may seem a pleasant distraction from the rigours of Test cricket - England play three Tests against Sri Lanka and the same against Pakistan as well as a series of Limited-overs matches.

But Flintoff was adamant he would be treating Lancashire's trip to Wantage Road with the utmost seriousness.

"I'm not using it as a warm-up for a Test match," he said. "I'll just try and perform and help the lads out. I'm thankful of the rest but you definitely need a game - you can't go into a Test match cold."

Flintoff had his first net session since returning from India on Thursday, watched by Lancashire director of cricket Mike Watkinson, and bowled on the square after the close of play on the second day of the championship clash with Kent.

"Sometimes when you get the bat back in your hand you don't know where you're going to be at," he said. "I batted against Gary Keedy and Simon Marshall and Mike Watkinson was bowling at me from 17 yards.

"I'm feeling good, I'm seeing the ball nicely and my feet were moving well. I'll have a couple more sessions in the nets before Sunday. It's been a while since I last played, but I've had a break and I'm ready to go again."

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