Flintoff May Have Played His Last Test; FRAUSTRATION:ANDREW FLINTOFF

Article excerpt

Byline: Peter Hayter

THE dismal prospect of Andrew Flintoff 's premature retirement from Testcricket seems a degree or two closer today with the news that England arealready planning for life without him.

Paul Collingwood and his one-day squad fly to Sri Lanka tomorrow minus theirtalismanic all-rounder, who is already back in England for more treatment onhis troublesome ankle.

And before he left with them, chairman of selectors David Graveney gave thefirst admission from within the camp that hopes of Flintoff ever again playinga major role in Test cricket may be based only on what he calls 'ultimateoptimism'.

Flintoff has not yet been ruled out of the Sri Lanka Test series frommid-November until just before Christmas but Graveney conceded: 'It would be amassive blow to the England team, or for any side, to lose a world-class playerlike Freddie. But watching him on the night of our last World Twenty20 matchagainst India you could see he was very frustrated.

'When I return to England after the first one-day international against SriLanka my first objective will be to meet with Michael Vaughan and digest whatwe know on the Test squad. …