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Page last updated at 11:41 GMT, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 12:41 UK

Michael Vaughan voices England fears on Andrew Flintoff

Andrew Flintoff

Flintoff explains decision to call off comeback

Former England captain Michael Vaughan fears all-rounder Andrew Flintoff will never represent his country again.

Flintoff, 32, has not featured since the final Ashes Test in August 2009 and then had major knee surgery and a further operation in January.

And his county Lancashire has announced he will not play for them this season.

"I don't see him playing for England again - they have moved on without him and are having a lot of success," Vaughan told BBC Radio 5 live.

Flintoff had been due to appear in a one-day match for Lancashire's 2nd XI on Tuesday but was forced to abandon his comeback plans because his knee is not ready to take the strain of competitive cricket.

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Lancashire said they had consulted Flintoff, his surgeon Andy Williams and their own medical team before coming to the conclusion that the all-rounder would not be able to make a competitive return before the 2010 season ends in mid-September.

The development is a huge blow to Flintoff's aspirations to represent England at the 2011 World Cup in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, which begins in February.

And Vaughan believes Flintoff, who retired from Test cricket in summer 2009, may be forced to turn to the Twenty20 format of the game to prolong his career.

"Maybe Twenty20 cricket is his best option as he'll only have to bowl four overs," added Vaughan, who captained Flintoff to great success in the 2005 Ashes series.

Andrew Flintoff

Report - Flintoff's legacy (UK only)

"I think he'll be looking at maybe playing in the Indian Premier League or somewhere else in the world but also playing for Lancashire as I know how much he loves the club.

"I hope it's not the last we see of him, as I know how much hard work he's put in over the last six months to get to this stage.

"It's a little setback - he's just got to be more patient."

Flintoff will return to his family base in Dubai to continue his latest rehabilitation programme.

This latest setback also prevents him from taking part in the second Twenty20 Champions League in South Africa in September after he was named in Chennai Super Kings' provisional squad for the tournament.

His future with Indian Premier League champions Chennai could also be in doubt as his $1.5m, two-year deal expires in the autumn.

Despite the gloomy prognosis from Lancashire, Flintoff's agent Andrew Chandler told BBC Sport the player was close to signing a deal to play for Queensland in Australia's domestic Twenty20 competition - which starts on 30 December and continues until 5 February.

Queensland Cricket chief executive officer Graham Dixon said they were monitoring the situation but remained hopeful Flintoff may be able to play for them.

We're encouraged by the progress of our talks at this point in time and will continue to keep the lines of communication open with his management team

Queensland cricket chief executive Graham Dixon

"We are aware that he is continuing his rehabilitation with Lancashire and are acutely aware that this will be his priority for the immediate future," Dixon stated

"We know that Andrew has been the object of some interest from a number of States, including us, and that he has publicly expressed a desire to play in the Big Bash, but at the moment, he is still working on his recovery.

"However we're encouraged by the progress of our talks at this point in time and will continue to keep the lines of communication open with his management team."

But links with New Zealand side Northern Districts would appear to be less substantial.

"His was a name that was part of our list of overseas players and has been someone we were interested in," chief executive David Cooper told the New Zealand Herald.

But unspecified difficulties had arisen, Cooper added, and "it's something we've not been able to pursue at all.

"We don't think it's going to work out and we have other irons in the fire."

Chandler stressed rehabilitation was going well for Flintoff and stated the troublesome right knee would continue to get stronger.

When Flintoff announced his decision last summer to retire from Test cricket he said that he wanted to concentrate on "becoming the best one-day player in the world".

Even in April he reiterated his desire to do exactly that but it is questionable whether he is capable of making a lasting return to top-level cricket.

Lancashire, with whom Flintoff signed a three-year deal in 2009, said in a statement the player would "continue his rehabilitation into the winter months".

The county's cricket director Mike Watkinson added: "Whilst Andrew has made significant progress, the combined opinion is that he is not quite ready for a return to cricket.

"We will constantly monitor and review his progress so that he is better equipped for a return to action."



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see also
What now for Flintoff?
04 Aug 10 |  Cricket
Flintoff targets Champions League
21 Jul 10 |  Cricket
Flintoff targets bowling comeback
27 Jun 10 |  Cricket
Flintoff will play again - Moores
08 Mar 10 |  Lancashire
Flintoff 'still wants to be best'
06 Nov 09 |  Lancashire
Flintoff signs one-day Lancs deal
05 Nov 09 |  Lancashire
Flintoff quits Tests after Ashes
15 Jul 09 |  Cricket


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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES
Calcutta Telegraph Flintoff aims at winter return - 2 hrs ago
Metro.co.uk James Anderson can win Ashes for England in Australia - Michael Vaughan - 2 hrs ago
Clubcall Vaughan concerned on Freddie future - 14 hrs ago
Gulf News Doubts grow over Flintoff's career - 16 hrs ago
Adfero Flintoff out for the rest of the season - 17 hrs ago


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