Andrew Flintoff touch and go for World Cup
Andrew Flintoff cast doubt on his availability for next month’s World Twenty20 yesterday but England captain Paul Collingwood said the hosts could compete without the all-rounder.
Flintoff was named two-weeks ago in a 15-man squad for the tournament despite still recovering from knee surgery which cut short his involvement in the lucrative Twenty20 Indian Premier League.
The Lancashire hero has since been ruled out of the ongoing two-Test series against the West Indies.
It had been hoped the hard-hitting batsman and aggressive pace bowler would be fit in time for the World Twenty20 and the Ashes, which follow on in July.
However, the 31-year-old Flintoff told Sky Sports on Friday he’d yet to start running again following the latest bout of surgery in his injury-plagued career.
“I’d love to play in the Twenty20 - but that might be too tight,” he said. “I had an operation two weeks ago and I’m already off my crutches. The Ashes are a long way off - and I’ll be fine for them.”
Collingwood, who saw the second day of the second and final Test against the West Indies at his Durham home ground washed out without a ball being bowled, said England would just have to wait and see regarding Flintoff’s fitness for the World Twenty20, which starts on June 5.
“I think we’re still waiting on how his fitness will be over the next couple of weeks,” said Collingwood. It would obviously be a big blow if he’s not in it, but we’ll have to overcome it.”
Collingwood, appointed England Twenty20 skipper after Test and one-day captain Andrew Strauss said his game was not suited to cricket’s shortest international format, said of Flintoff: “He’s very much two players in one.
“But I think we’ve got quite a versatile squad,” Collingwood, a middle-order batsman and medium-pacer, explained.
“It would be a huge blow if he wasn’t going to be fit, but we certainly have the players in the squad to overcome that in many ways.”
However, he added: “Without ‘Fred’, it makes it very difficult to get the right balance between batters and bowlers in the final XI.”