Freddie - My body can't cope
Fitness problems prompted all-rounder's decision to quit Tests
For my own sanity I can't keep going through rehabilitation, I think I've done two years in the past four, just rehab all the way through.
Quotes of the week
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Andrew Flintoff says his decision to retire from Test cricket at the end of the Ashes is "for my own sanity".
Flintoff admitted the succession of injuries that have ravaged his career in recent years have finally taken their toll.
He plans to concentrate his efforts on the one-day format after this summer in a bid to prolong his England career.
"Excuse the pun, but it's not a knee-jerk reaction, it's something I've been thinking about for a while. It's just the timing of it," Flintoff said.
"I think with this latest thing with my knee, seeing the surgeon Monday and having jabs in it, my body is telling me it's time to give in.
"For my own sanity I can't keep going through rehabilitation, I think I've done two years in the past four, just rehab all the way through.
"I've got four Test matches, and I'll give my utmost for England to try and contribute to an Ashes win, so that's what I'm focusing on over the next few weeks."
Flintoff is confident of overcoming his latest knee injury - a recurrence of the problem that required an operation in April - to play in the second Ashes Test at Lord's, although a final decision will not be made until Thursday morning.
"I've bowled a few overs and we'll make the final decision in the morning, just to check everything is fine, and have another bowl before they announce the final team, but I'm very hopeful at this stage," he added.
The 31-year-old explained he felt he had to make his decision public to help him perform to his best for the remainder of the summer.
"I just wanted to get it out there, and tell people what I intended to do. I think the time now is right," he said.
"Over the next few weeks, I will do anything to get out on the cricket field."
Flintoff's finest hour came in the 2005 Ashes series when he starred with bat and ball as England ended an 18-year drought against Australia with a 2-1 series win.
His recollections of that series remain vivid - and he has far from given up hope of history repeating itself.
"It was a special group of cricketers we had," he recalled.
"We were confident of doing something special, and standing there on that podium at the Oval after the last Test match is something I will remember for a long time - I hope I can do that again.
"You have Twenty20 and one-day cricket. But to perform in the Ashes is the ultimate."
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Dave Gee says...
Great talent that was unfortunately granted legendary status whilst he was still playing. How many more English sportsmen will be classed the next big thing after a handful of quality performances, sell their autobiographies when they're 24 and forget that hard work got them there in the first place? Goodbye Freddie, just enough time to throw your arms in the air and puff your chest out if you manage to bowl out a tail ender this week. Self praise is no praise.
Posted 21:50 15th July 2009
Jim Taylor says...
I think this is for the best. If it prolongs his international career all the better for England. I don't think the timing of the anouncement is a big problem. It should add to the motivation ( not that it should be needed!) of the other England bowling contenders to up their game to try and get in the side. I know he has had off the field problems but these have been dealt with by the ECB it is up to them to sort that stuff out not the public. So thanks Freddie for what you have done on the field and please show everyone what they will be missing by helping to beat the Aussies, lets face it we need all the help we can get!
Posted 16:20 15th July 2009
Barry Larmer says...
Why tell the world now?? who does this benefit, certainly not England..I think Freddie has given his all every single time he has represented England, but I question his timing here. The decision is probably the correct one,but the timing of the announcement sucks -has he got another book to come out or testimonial or something??? sorry to appear cynical..
Posted 14:53 15th July 2009
John Eastlight says...
freddie in full flight was a sight to behold. A super bowler,seemed to have lost his way a little with the bat. I wish him many more days in the one day,and twenty 20. Will be a huge loss to the test team
Posted 13:59 15th July 2009
Nick Bulmer says...
I cannot understand why everybody is gutted by his impending departure. I would have sacked him when he didn't turn up for the team bus to visit the war graves - this tipified his conscientiousness throughout his career. He could have achieved much more, without doubt a great talent, but he chose to waste it. People say the game needs characters - yes, but this has to go hand in hand with responsibility
Posted 13:55 15th July 2009
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