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Page last updated at 14:56 GMT, Wednesday, 15 July 2009 15:56 UK

Reaction to Flintoff retirement

Andrew Flintoff
Flintoff's latest injury flared up during the first Ashes Test against Australia

Andrew Flintoff will call time on his Test career at the age of 31 at the end of the Ashes Test series.

The England all-rounder has battled with a succession of injuries and said on Wednesday that "my body has told me it's time to stop".

Some of the biggest names in cricket give their reaction to Flintoff's announcement.

ENGLAND CAPTAIN ANDREW STRAUSS

Strauss full of praise for Flintoff

"I think he's had a dramatic effect on world cricket. He helped bring a new audience to the game and within the four walls of the changing room he kept us going at times when things were pretty difficult.

"He could be inspirational both by what he did on the pitch but also how he was around the lads and he will be missed.

"The way he plays the game, the way he took the game to the opposition with the bat and the wholehearted way he bowled, it's pretty hard not to be impressed by the way he plays the game.

"He's had some great days for England and he's always contributed, even when he wasn't taking five wickets or scoring hundreds.

"As much as anything just as a personality the way he's played his cricket has been a great asset to the game."

AUSTRALIA CAPTAIN RICKY PONTING

Flintoff retirement surprises Ponting

"He's been a great figure in the game.

"The way he's gone about his cricket, the way he's played the game and how much he's enjoyed the battle - probably particularly in Ashes cricket - is something that's been very fun to be a part of for me.

"If you look at his bare statistics, they probably don't rate that flatteringly, but as far as someone that has an impact on the way a team plays and performs then he seems to be right up there."

FORMER ENGLAND CAPTAIN IAN BOTHAM

"Throughout the summer (of the 2005 Ashes) he was the leader of the pack and was able to do almost anything he wanted on a cricket field," Botham told the Daily Mirror.

"His batting, bowling and fielding were in perfect harmony and that can never be taken away from him.

"Since then the body has let him down and you can't keep shoving needles into a bloke and expect him to be fine."

FORMER ENGLAND CAPTAIN GRAHAM GOOCH

"He's not been the biggest influence on all the Test matches he's played but he does have a presence, and that brings others along with him.

"He has the ability to be able to get big players out. Certainly that was shown at the height of his career when England won the Ashes in 2005.

"He is a favourite of the fans who can relate to him - that sort of cricketer where you play as hard on the field as hard off the field.

"He's a dying breed. The modern cricketer doesn't fall into that psyche, with all the trainers and off-field staff they have following them. I'm afraid that Fred is the last character to play Test cricket. They are few and far between nowadays."

FORMER ENGLAND BOWLER DARREN GOUGH

"What I think is quite obvious with 'Fred', and to those who play with him, is the pain he goes through. I went through it in 2002, and that's when I decided I couldn't do it any more at that level.

"He set himself a huge standard in 2005 with those (Ashes) performances. In that series he was probably the best player in the world.

"He'll give it one last blast against Australia; see if he can win the Ashes one more time. It was always his dream - it's his passion to play against them."

FORMER ENGLAND CAPTAIN MICHAEL ATHERTON

"He'll look back on the 2005 series as the high point of his career, maybe his life, in years to come.

"He has been a very good Test match cricketer, not a great one but a very good one who had a great series in 2005. His career's not over because he'll want to play some more one-day international cricket. I suspect he'll feel absolutely fulfilled."

FORMER ENGLAND BOWLER ANGUS FRASER

"You watch him bowling on a lifeless pitch against top Indian batsmen under a cloudless sky - and the bloke just runs in and gives you his all over and over.

"Eighty per cent or 75% of what he wants to be is not enough. He puts his body on the line all the time, and if he cannot commit to that I suppose it just makes his mind up."

FORMER ENGLAND SPINNER ASHLEY GILES

"I guess it's the end of an era. He was an electric cricketer, an absolute star on the pitch, a match-winner - and quite entertaining off the pitch as well.

"He's been a great servant to English cricket, so when he gives away Test cricket I think we all wish him the best.

"'Freddie' was a pretty messy man in the dressing room. But on the field, when he crossed that line, he was such a great competitor and someone you'd always want playing with you rather than against you.

"I guess 2005 would probably be the pinnacle for him in Test cricket, and he went a long way to helping us win that series."

FORMER INDIA CAPTAIN SOURAV GANGULY

"It's a big loss for England. I always said England needed to balance his bowling with his batting if they wanted him to survive longer in Test cricket.

"With England, every time they are under pressure it is 'Freddie' with the ball - because he is their best bowler. He's a big boy, and injuries are part and parcel of sport, but there are other fast bowlers around the world who are running in and keep playing and doing well in Test matches.

"I think this has a lot to do with his body - and at the end of the day, he had to make a call on which version of the game he wants to play the most."

LANCASHIRE CRICKET DIRECTOR MIKE WATKINSON

"The decision has come as a surprise to us, but Fred loves playing cricket for England and he would not have taken this decision lightly. Fred knows he has the full support of Lancashire and we are here to help him in anyway we can.

"He will obviously talk to the ECB about his future and then we'll do the same, but we look forward to having a closer relationship with Fred over the coming years. Although he hasn't played much for us over the past four or five years, he loves playing for Lancashire and always brings something special to the Old Trafford dressing-room.

"Fred is one of the best all-rounders in the world and it will be disappointing not to see him playing Test cricket for England, but England's loss will hopefully benefit Lancashire.

"He is an inspirational character and highly respected by his peers, the press and the public, and I'm sure this decision will enable him to continue his career for years to come."



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see also
Flintoff quits Tests after Ashes
15 Jul 09 |  Cricket
Jonathan Agnew column
15 Jul 09 |  Cricket
Physio blames back-to-back Tests
15 Jul 09 |  England
Strauss century defies Australia
16 Jul 09 |  England
Flintoff to undergo knee surgery
24 Apr 09 |  England


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