Andrew Flintoff has been given permission to play for Lancashire in the Twenty20 Cup finals day on Saturday.
England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff has been given permission to play for Lancashire in the Twenty20 Cup finals day on Saturday.
Flintoff, a crowd pleaser who smashed 85 in 45 balls on his Twenty20 Cup debut against Yorkshire during the group stages, has been made available along with England colleague James Anderson.
Surrey, Lancashire's opponents in the first semi-final at Edgbaston, will however be without batsman Graham Thorpe, who England want to rest an Achilles injury before the third Test against West Indies at Old Trafford.
Mark Butcher and Simon Jones are allowed to play for Surrey and Glamorgan respectively as they continue their recovery from injury.
Butcher missed the first two Tests against West Indies with whiplash and then a thigh injury.
Paceman Jones, still rusty after missing two Tests against New Zealand with a foot injury, can also play in the Twenty20 Cup and a totesport League match on Monday. Jones was also included in the side to play Somerset in the Frizzell County Championship on Tuesday.
Flintoff's appearance in the Twenty20 Cup is subject to fitness. The 26-year-old had a cortisone injection prior to the first Test at Lord's to ease the pain of a bone spur in the ankle.
Flintoff, Anderson, Butcher and Jones are the only players freed up for county cricket before the Old Trafford match beginning on August 12.
Centrally contracted players Michael Vaughan, Marcus Trescothick, Ashley Giles, Matthew Hoggard and Stephen Harmison will all be rested.
The England and Wales Cricket Board have also requested that Middlesex leave out their captain Andrew Strauss and Kent rest Robert Key and Geraint Jones.
An ECB statement read: "Due to the status of the event, an exception has been made with regard to Twenty20 Cup finals day.
"Andrew Flintoff and James Anderson have been made available to Lancashire for this important day in the county calendar subject to fitness."
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