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The latest of a catalogue of frustrating injuries has prompted Andrew Flintoff to call time on his glittering Test career after the current Ashes series.
Hailed by many as one of the greatest-ever English cricketers, his retirement will trigger a search from the selectors for "the next Freddie".
Skysports.com looks at the top-10 candidates who may have the potential to fill the sizeable void left by the talismanic all-rounder.
Powerfully-built Bresnan has the attributes to succeed at Test level, and, at 24 time is still on his side. The Yorkshireman was surprisingly handed a recall to the five-day arena against the West Indies at the start of the summer, and he proved his credentials with a three-wicket haul in the second Test.
Arguably the most likely to step up as England's genuine all-rounder in all forms of the game. Broad already averages nearly 30 with the bat in Tests and has been one of England's most consistent performers with the ball since establishing himself in all facets of the game.
The highly-rated Lancashire all-rounder is drawing the plaudits in the north west with his hard-hitting batting and accurate seam bowling. The 24-year-old was named the counties player of the season in 2008, and with Peter Moores as his coach, his future looks a bright one.
A one-day specialist granted, however any Englishman who can bowl in the region of 90mph can never be dismissed entirely from a Test place. On the fringes of the England ODI set-up since his Twenty20 exploits with Essex, Napier is surely now worth a chance.
Out-of-favour with the ECB and national selectors after failing to meet required levels of fitness, Patel still has plenty to do to play his way into contention. His ability, however, is not in question, as proved with impressive displays against South Africa in 2008.
The forgotten man of English cricket in many respects, however an eye-catching start to the season with Durham has done his claims for an England recall no harm whatsoever. Equally adept with both bat and ball, the 24-year-old still has plenty of cricket ahead of him.
Physique and playing style could not be more contrasting, however Rashid is showing the early promise which suggests he is destined for a long and successful international career. The 21-year-old leg-spin bowler finished with 62 wickets in the 2008 County Championship season and his composed 66 against Australia in the recent England Lions match portrayed his potential with the willow.
Solely making the cut as a one-day option, destructive Somerset all-rounder Trego has long been the scourge of bowling attacks throughout the county circuit. He has also become a pivotal part of his side's bowling unit, and many in the West Country believe he is well overdue a national call-up.
The youngest of the candidates to become a long-term replacement for Freddie, however the Warwickshire pace bowler has certainly earned his right to be considered. Clocked bowling in the mid-to-high 80s, Woakes, 20, has impressed regularly for the England Lions and was named in the 30-man preliminary squad for the ICC World Twenty20. His first-class average of 29.23 also suggests potential with the bat.
Ever-improving Sussex all-rounder Luke Wright has blossomed in the one-day format and was one of England's shining lights in the recent ICC World Twenty20. More renowned for his power batting, the 24-year-old is also developing with the ball and appears a favourite with the national selectors.
Pete Trego is more than a one day player, his Bowling is tight & gives good options, his batting is superb his 103 from 52 balls in the 4 day match against Yorkshire has to be one of the batting highlites in all cricket this year, give the lad a chance
Posted 12:01 16th July 2009
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