Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

FLINTOFF REVEALS HIS ROSES DREAM RETURN ; Ex-England Captain Admits He Would Love to Face Yorkshire after Coming out of Retirement

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

FLINTOFF REVEALS HIS ROSES DREAM RETURN ; Ex-England Captain Admits He Would Love to Face Yorkshire after Coming out of Retirement

Article excerpt

ANDREW Flintoff is desperate to play in Lancashire's NatWest T20 Blast Rose clash with Yorkshire Vikings on Friday night.

But the Ashes hero, who played his first competitive match in five years for former club side St Annes on Saturday, admits he faces a fight just to get in the squad for the Emirates Old Trafford showdown.

Flintoff, who bowled 12 overs and took 3-26 on his return to action for the Northern League club against Penrith but scored just two with the bat, after re-signing for Lancashire on Friday.

He will now play for the Red Rose's second team in their T20 finals day at Arundel on Thursday before a decision is made on his availability for the visit of Yorkshire on Friday.

But with Lancashire topping the North Group having won four games on the bounce, and with man-of-the-moment Jos Buttler, who smashed 121 for England on Saturday, also available to come back into the side, it would be a big call to bring Flintoff straight back into the side.

And although the 36-year-old former England captain is keen to play in front of what looks set to be a sold-out Emirates Old Trafford, he knows he faces a battle just to get in the team.

"I'll be honest with you," said Flintoff. "I'd be lying to you if I said I didn't think about playing against Yorkshire, it'll be a full house.

"However, Friday is a long way away, it really is. Lancs had two great wins in the competition on Thursday and Friday and the side are confident and performing well.

"They are on a roll. And there's Jos to come back in to that side. So it's not a gimme that I'm going to play. But I'm going to try to put myself in the frame.

"If I get a go, I get a go, but I'm not by any means expecting to play.

"On Thursday I've got a game with the second team, which I'm just going to go out there and enjoy.

"I'm not going to put any undue pressure on myself thinking that this is a trial for Friday or anything like that. I'm just going to play - and if I get picked, I get picked.

"If I'm going to play on Friday then someone else is going to miss out. And Lancashire have got to be comfortable that when they tell the player who is missing out that it's the right decision for cricket reasons. …

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