Moving On

Opinion seems to be divided about Andrew Flintoff's apparent decision to become the first (although surely far from the last) international cricketer to 'go freelance', something which people have been predicting since the IPL and its accompanying piles of cash first hoved into view.

I'm fairly relaxed about it and feel that Andrew Miller hits a pretty good note here, although there are, of course, significant imponderables which we won't know the answer to for many months yet.

Can Flintoff regain even the level of fitness required to sustain his putative lifestyle of travelling the globe bowling four-over spells and biffing a few boundaries (and perhaps throwing the stumps down from mid-on occasionally)?

And, if he does, will he be able to go the extra mile for an England ODI team in which more will be demanded of him in terms of both duration and responsibility?

And, if he does, will England want him to do so?

I think the assumption of both Flintoff his agent is that they will, but, while his absence from the current series has obviously not helped England's prospects (although I think KP has been missed more), I'm sure that Flower and Strauss will only want him back on their terms rather than his. Flintoff, once he's fully integrated into the life of the international cricketing cavalier, might not want that.

And, with Stuart Broad around, will they feel that they need him?

With his retirement from Test cricket and now this decision, Flintoff has partially moved on. Sometime England are going to have to do the same.


Cricket Betting Blog said...

Interesting points you make, I personally think that Andy Flower will have his doubts about wanting him back in the fold in the current circumstances.

The prospect of having a player who is here today but could be gone tomorrow dosen't bode well for forward planning - something I think and would expect Flower puts a strong emphasis on.

Strauss might be Flintoff's strongest ally to start with but ultimately he and Andy Flower seem to sing from the same hymn sheet.

Another point is, will Flintoff be fit enough to play 50 over cricket? People seem to be overlooking the fact he will be required to bowl 10 overs in under three and a half hours. In a series such as the current one, will he be able to do this every three days for around three weeks?

Michael Vaughan was on TMS on Tuesday and he claimed (he didn't say how well informed of the injury he was) that the knee will never be the same and will need 'managing' through busy schedules.

Brian Carpenter said...

All very true. 50 over ODIs are going to be a completely different proposition to T20 games, whether 'domestic' or international, not to mention 'dangerous sports' or coaching the UAE, which seems to be today's weird story.

Mike Atherton put it very well when he said that he would expect Flintoff to be given the push for good as soon as he says he can't play for England in a series for which he's fit, whether the opponents are Bangladsh or anyone else, and I firmly believe that Flower will have no qualms about doing so. All in all, I'll be surprised if he plays much more for England.

He could do with a better agent, though. The current guy persists in coming across as a bit of a d**k.

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