Big Bash League: Flintoff to play for Brisbane Heat

Updated: Thursday, October 23, 2014, 21:52 [IST]
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Brisbane, Oct 23: Former England captain and all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, who retired from international cricket in 2009, Wednesday confirmed that he will play for Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League (BBL) this summer.

"I'm excited to be coming back to Australia and especially to Brisbane which has always been a favourite spot of mine to play," Flintoff was quoted as saying by the "Herald Sun".

BBL: Flintoff to play for Brisbane Heat

"(Coach) Stuart Law and I have had a few conversations and I'm clear on what we're looking to achieve in the competition. The Heat squad has some exciting talent and I'm looking forward to catching up with Daniel Vettori again,"

Flintoff said he was excited about being part of the BBL after coming close to being part of its forerunner in 2010, when a deal with Queensland fell through after he suffered a career-ending knee injury.

"I've seen from afar how the BBL has evolved so quickly to become a world class competition and it's a challenge that I am certainly up for," Flintoff added.

The 36-year-old hasn't played international cricket since 2009 but made a successful comeback in England's domestic T20 competition earlier this year, nearly sealing a dramatic win for Lancashire in the final.

"I really enjoyed my T20 season with Lancs and having the opportunity to keep playing is something I am very pleased about. It's going to be great heading out to Brisbane and getting into the swing of things for the BBL in December," he said.

Law is Flintoff's former team mate at Lancashire and played the key role in luring him to Brisbane. Law said he and the former England skipper were on the same page about what awaited them when they came together again for the BBL.

"I've told Fred we signed him to win games. So that means we want him bowling 140km/h, hitting sixes and using his experience around the group to get the job done. He is an enormous competitor and so I know he is coming out for the right reasons. The Brisbane fans will quickly discover he's a champion fella and I'm sure they will love having him with the team," he said.

However it looks like Fintoff, who won the 2005 International Cricket Council (ICC) Player of the Year award, won't feature in every Heat game, with the press release stating he has only signed for the second half of the tournament.

With this move, Flintoff, who played 79 Tests and 141 ODIs, joins fellow English superstar Kevin Pietersen (Melbourne Stars) and a host of other international legends including South Africa's Jacques Kallis, who will play for Sydney Thunder.

Since retiring, Flintoff tried his hand at a range of activities including professional boxing - which lasted just one bout, which he won, reality TV show hosting, darts commentary and novelty world record breaker.


Story first published:  Thursday, October 23, 2014, 15:54 [IST]
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