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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 April 2006, 17:36 GMT 18:36 UK
Old Trafford snub upsets Flintoff
The Old Trafford crowd helped generate a superb atmosphere on the final day in 2005
The crowd created a superb atmosphere at Old Trafford in 2005
Andrew Flintoff has spoken of his hurt at the decision not to award Old Trafford an Ashes Test in 2009.

The England and Wales Cricket Board opted for Cardiff's Sophia Gardens as one of the five venues to the shock of the Lancashire and England all-rounder.

Flintoff played in last summer's thrilling draw in the third Test with Australia when huge crowds turned up.

"I was gutted when I found out. I don't think it's for cricketing reasons, it's more for commercial reasons," he said.

"In the last series it had full houses for five days and 20,000 people locked out for one of the best Test matches ever seen.

"It went down to the wire and the venue was fantastic."

To play in front of a full house for five days and then to see people being locked out was amazing
Andrew Flintoff

Flintoff revealed that the interest in last summer's third Test, in which Australia hung on for a draw on the last day, was so great that he was late for one of the days.

"I didn't realise there were that many people going. I was driving in and the traffic was about a mile back," the 28-year-old recalled.

"I ended up driving down the wrong side of the road to get to Old Trafford and was 10 minutes late. There were a few guys with me so I got away with it.

"I've never seen Old Trafford like that. I've played in front of biggish crowds there but to play in front of a full house for five days and then to see people being locked out was amazing."

Australia's last-wicket pair Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath defied England in a nail-biting climax as the home side desperately looked to go 2-1 ahead in the series.

Lancashire are considering a move away from the ground, but have still been given Tests in 2007 and '08.

But Preston-born Flintoff says not having the chance to lock horns with the Auld enemy at Old Trafford in 2009 is a bitter pill for him to swallow.

"I remember bowling that last hour. I was physically exhausted, it had been a long Test, but then the crowd started again and it just gave you something extra.

"As you can imagine, I'm disappointed that's not going to happen in the next Ashes series over here."

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