Flintoff in Old Trafford bid
Andrew Flintoff has called on cricket fans to petition Trafford Council to support Lancashire's renovation plans for Old Trafford.
By Rachel Griffiths
Last Updated: 20/01/10 4:03pm
Iconic all-rounder Andrew Flintoff has called on cricket fans to petition Trafford Council to support Lancashire's renovation plans for Old Trafford.
Flintoff, who retired from Test cricket after England's successful Ashes campaign last summer, has appealed to supporters to write to the council as they consider the county's application for extensive redevelopment.
Old Trafford was controversially left off the schedule for Australia's Ashes tour in 2009, and with more contenders to host top fixtures than ever before, a revamp of the Lancashire ground's facilities will help secure its future as a leading venue.
"It's inconceivable to think that Test cricket will not be played at Old Trafford ever again, (but) 126 years of Test Match cricket at Old Trafford will come to an end if Trafford Council rejects Lancashire County Cricket Club's development plans for the ground when they meet in February," said Flintoff in his appeal.
"The ground has played an important role in the history of our great sport and even now, continues to produce intriguing and entertaining encounters in front of sold out crowds.
"To date, over 3,400 people have signed our online petition to keep international cricket at Old Trafford... but it's become apparent that physical letters, whether via post or email, will carry more weight during the council's deliberation."
Meanwhile, Flintoff appears unlikely to go back on his decision to retire from Test cricket, despite confirming his interest in playing first-class matches for Lancashire next season.
The 32-year-old is confident he can recover suitably from knee surgery to participate in four-day fixtures, having previously insisted his focus was on limited-overs cricket.
Sources close to the player have shrugged off media speculation that Flintoff is seeking a spot in the 2010-11 Ashes squad.
"At the moment Andrew is just focusing on playing cricket again," said the source.
"At this stage there are no plans to reverse his decision to retire from Tests."