Andrew Flintoff's return: How the legendary all-rounder's comeback has got cricket talking
Last Updated: 05/06/14 10:44am
Andrew Flintoff is back - and you can watch his highly-anticipated return on Sky Sports this Friday when Lancashire take on Yorkshire in the NatWest T20 Blast!
The legendary all-rounder has made plenty of headlines since announcing last Friday that he is to come out of retirement and here at skysports.com we're right across the story.
Check out how it has developed below and have your say via @SkyCricket or by filling out the form at the foot of the page - then sit back and enjoy the action as Lancashire and Yorkshire slug it out on Sky Sports 2 from 6pm this Friday.
The return of a legend
Out of retirement
After several weeks of rumour and reports, former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff confirms that he is back and can't wait to compete for Lancashire in the T20 Blast. He said: "I have worked really hard to get back to my fittest and I hope that we have a successful summer. I'm just glad that I can be part of it."
Fit and ready
But what shape is Freddie - recently seen on Sky One cycling 1,200k through the Amazon - in? Lancashire Director of Cricket Mike Watkinson says the deal to get Flintoff back has been in the pipeline for a couple of weeks, saying: "Fred has been back at Emirates Old Trafford under his own steam since the winter and has been working with the Academy and in the nets with some of the other players."
'Making a mistake'
All-rounders don't come much more renowned than Sky Sports' very own cricket expert Sir Ian Botham - so what is his view on Flintoff's return? It's fair to say that Beefy's take is pretty clear. He believes Freddie taking a huge risk... Read the full story here.
Flintoff warms up
All eyes were on St Annes in the Northern Premier Cricket League on Saturday as Flintoff prepared to step out onto a cricket pitch for the first time since confirming his comeback. Returning to his former junior club, he said he felt like he's never been away.
Back in the wickets
The first of Flintoff's wickets came in the sixth over of his opening spell as he had a Penrith batsman caught behind. A sharp caught-and-bowled followed before Flintoff splayed a third batsman's stumps, and he later tweeted: "Loving my day - 11 overs and great fun."
On to the IPL?
The Cricket Writers on TV panel have their say on Flintoff's return to the shortest form of the game and think a run in the IPL is a possibility. But after a five-year break from professional cricket, are the odds stacked heavily against Flintoff returning in style? His return will add numbers to the gate but how will it affect Lancashire's younger players?
Sky Sports pundit Bob Willis says Flintoff's appearances in the T20 Blast will guarantee high attendances for Lancashire games, meaning it may not matter too much how he fares whilst batting and bowling. However, the former seamer feels Freddie's skills with the ball could give his opponents a scare or two...
Full steam ahead
Flintoff's return gathered more pace when Lancashire announced he will figure for the side's second team on Thursday, in a likely precursor to the Roses clash 24 hours later. Yet, Watkinson says the all-rounder - who last played a T20 match for Lancashire in 2009 - will only face Yorkshire on merit...