London: England all rounder Andrew Flintoff believes his Ashes dream is still alive, despite being ruled out of the Twenty20 World Cup due to injury.
England pulled their talismanic all-rounder out of the tournament, which starts from June 5, as he continues his recovery from knee surgery.
Flintoff, 31, will instead continue his rehab at Lancashire, with their County Championship clash against Hampshire on June 17 pencilled in as a possible return date.
“I"m disappointed to not be playing in the World Twenty20 — but my main target is always to get 100 per cent fit for the Ashes. I"ve said all through my time out, it"s the dream of playing Ashes cricket and beating the Aussies that keeps me going," he said.
“I"ve not thought about the future beyond that. I just want to get back playing Test cricket as soon as I can. As long as I feel fit enough and am playing well, I will play all forms of the game," Flintoff added.
The injury did come to light during his time in the Indian Premier League, raising questions over the benefit of central contracts for England players.
The deals were originally brought in under coach Duncan Fletcher in 2000, with the intention of keeping players fresh by pulling them out of domestic duty.
Some fear the likes of Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen could opt out of central contracts down the line and simply declare themselves available for the big games.
“The central contracts have benefited England hugely and are part of the reason we won the Ashes in 2005. But things have changed — and I can see why people say central contracts may too. There are new competitions popping up and professional players will want to be involved.
“Playing for my country always comes first though and it is up to the administrators to make sure the schedule of games can work. Maybe at the moment that balance isn"t there but the next year things could change," Flintoff said.