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Page last updated at 18:31 GMT, Tuesday, 9 June 2009 19:31 UK

I'll be fit for Ashes - Flintoff

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Flintoff 'desperate' to play in Ashes

England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff is confident he will be fit for selection ahead of the first Ashes Test against Australia in Cardiff on 8 July.

Flintoff had surgery on a slight cartilage tear in his right knee six weeks ago but has now been bowling outside as he closes in on a return.

"Not being fit for the Ashes is not an option," Flintoff told the BBC.

"I am bang up to where I want to be at this stage and I have had no ill reaction. So far so good."

The 31-year-old bowled outdoors under the supervision of Lancashire coach Peter Moores prior to his team's County Championship match against Somerset at Old Trafford.

606: DEBATE

And Flintoff will travel with Lancashire ahead of their match in Durham that starts on Thursday.

"He has progressed really well," said Moores, who would not be drawn on Flintoff's chances of playing.

"I always take a back seat from the cricket side and let the medical staff tell me when he is ready.

"If they turn around to me and say the bloke can play then we will sort something out. It's all gone very well and probably better than some people expected in many ways.

"He is coming to Durham whatever. It's part of his whole rehab, to be integrated into the team here and back into cricket."

Lancashire and England have not specified a date for his return to match action but it had been initially thought he would not feature until the Championship game against Hampshire at Liverpool on 17 June.

"We won't look at games until he is declared fit. That is the way it goes," said Moores. "We can then make a choice on what cricket is around, what fits the schedule, to get him back."

Flintoff missed the two-Test series against the West Indies and is out of the ICC World Twenty20 after picking up his latest injury while in South Africa playing for the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL.

His injury had cast doubt on his inclusion in the England squad for the first Ashes Test.

But Flintoff added: "For English cricket the Ashes is the biggest thing for any of us. Having played in two I'm desperate to play for a third.

"Come Cardiff I will be available to play I've just go to get in the team now."



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see also
Flintoff stands by IPL inclusion
04 Jun 09 |  Cricket
Flintoff fitness vital - Ponting
30 May 09 |  Cricket
Injured Flintoff out of Twenty20
27 May 09 |  England
Australia in England 2009
20 Sep 09 |  England


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