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Page last updated at 10:50 GMT, Sunday, 19 July 2009 11:50 UK

England optimistic over Flintoff

Andew Flintoff
Flintoff's Test cricket future remains in the balance

England have played down speculation that all-rounder Andrew Flintoff will not play beyond the second Ashes Test against Australia at Lord's.

The 31-year-old has said he will retire from Test cricket after the Ashes.

However, there are rumours that he may be forced to quit before the fifth and final match at the Oval next month.

But an England spokesman said: "Provided Andrew gets through this Test without any further problems, we would expect him to play in the next one."

Flintoff had three pain-killing injections in his knee in the build-up to the second Test, and his bowling workload was managed carefully by England captain Andrew Strauss in the first innings.

He did not bowl at all on Saturday, but ran well between the wickets during an unbeaten 30 in England's second innings total of 311-6.

There's a certain point where the body's saying it's not going to allow you to keep doing what you want to do

Peter Moores

England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive David Collier has, meanwhile, revealed the announcement of Flintoff's Test retirement came as no surprise.

"Obviously there have been discussions with Freddie over some period of time," Collier told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme.

"I don't think anybody was totally surprised [by his retirement]. If you look back over Freddie's career, since he made his debut we've played something like 138 Test matches and he's missed 62 of those.

"There is so much a body can go through and Freddie's made that decision, we need to respect it."

That sentiment was echoed by former England coach Peter Moores, now Flintoff's county boss at Lancashire.

"I think we've all known he's thought about it for a while because his body isn't allowing him to do what he wants to do. He's a pretty full-on cricketer," he said.

"The frustration of having to go through the rehab, it's a lot of effort and work.

"There's a certain point where the body's saying it's not going to allow you to keep doing what you want to do."

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see also
Flintoff's Test career in pictures
28 Sep 09 |  England
Flintoff quits Tests after Ashes
15 Jul 09 |  Cricket
Flintoff issues burnout warning
16 Jul 09 |  Cricket
Reaction to Flintoff retirement
15 Jul 09 |  England
Jonathan Agnew column
15 Jul 09 |  Cricket
Physio blames back-to-back Tests
15 Jul 09 |  England
England open up huge Lord's lead
18 Jul 09 |  England
Harmison added as Flintoff cover
13 Jul 09 |  England
Flintoff to undergo knee surgery
24 Apr 09 |  England

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