Flintoff forced to retire
Former England skipper calls it a day on medical advice
Last Updated: 16/09/10 4:34pm
Andrew Flintoff has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.
"I was told that the problems I have been trying to overcome in rehab for the last year following the latest in a series of operations would not recover sufficiently to allow a comeback"
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The all-rounder had not played since the fifth Ashes Test against Australia at the Oval last summer - a match England won to regain the Ashes.
Flintoff immediately underwent major knee surgery at the end of that series and then had to go under the knife again in January.
A planned comeback for Lancashire in August was shelved and he was quickly ruled out of competitive cricket for the entire summer.
The 33-year-old insisted he had no other option but to retire after being told by medical experts that he would not recover sufficiently to play again.
"It is with both disappointment and sadness that I am today announcing my retirement from all forms of cricket," he said in a statement.
"The decision to end my career came yesterday after consultation with medical advisers.
"I was told that the problems I have been trying to overcome in rehab for the last year following the latest in a series of operations would not recover sufficiently to allow a comeback.
"Having been told that my body would no longer stand up to the rigours of cricket, I had no alternative but to retire.
"I would like to thank my family, Lancashire Cricket Club, England, all my sponsors, friends and advisers for all the help and support they have given me throughout my career.
"Last, but by no means least, I am indebted to the encouragement and support I have always received from England's magnificent supporters.
"I will now be taking a break before deciding which future direction to take."
Flintoff took 226 wickets at 32.78 with the ball and scored 3,845 runs, including a personal best of 167, in his 79 Test appearances for England.
His international career began at the age of 20 when he made his Test debut against South Africa at Trent Bridge. He twice helped England win the Ashes on home soil, though he was also captain for the 5-0 series defeat suffered at the hands of Australia in the winter of 2006-7.
He also appeared in 141 one-day internationals and seven Twenty20 games despite injuries hampering his career.
The Preston-born player had four operations on his left ankle alone and also suffered from a variety of back, groin and knee ailments.