Botham fears for Flintoff

2014-05-31 14:55
Andrew Flintoff (AP)

London - England great Ian Botham said Andrew Flintoff was making a "massive mistake" in coming back to play Twenty20 county cricket after five years out of the game.

Flintoff, like Botham a pace bowling all-rounder and ex-England captain, was forced to retire through injury in 2009, his ankles and knees having repeatedly suffered from the pounding they took as he charged in.

However, Friday saw Lancashire announce the 36-year-old Flintoff was now a member of their Twenty20 squad, with 'Fred' set to make his comeback against arch-rivals Yorkshire at Old Trafford next week.

"While I wish him all the very best, I think he is making a massive mistake," Botham wrote in his column in Saturday's Daily Mirror tabloid.

"We've not seen Fred on a cricket field since those memorable days in 2009 - and five years is a long time out of the game.

"For those that can't remember that far back, Fred had no choice but to quit cricket because of a chronic knee injury that had made walking difficult let alone bowling at 90 miles an hour," Botham added.

"Unless he's managed to swap knees with someone, I don't know how it has suddenly got better, allowing him to tear in and play the game properly.

"To come back after five years out of the game and with that injury still in the background is a huge risk.

"I just hope he does not let himself down too badly."

Flintoff, who was due to play club cricket on Saturday as a 'warm-up' for his county return, though insisted he'd no fears over possibly tarnishing his reputation.

"I'd sooner try and have it not come off than sit at home for the rest of my days thinking I should have tried this, I should have had a go," he told the BBC.

A powerful batsman, as well as an aggressive bowler and assured slip fielder, Flintoff played 79 Tests, 141 one-day internationals and seven Twenty20 internationals for England.

His greatest all-round series came when he scored 402 runs and took 24 wickets as England regained the Ashes 2-1 in 2005.

But the subsequent 2006/07 Ashes saw Flintoff, miscast as England captain, lead his country to a 5-0 series defeat in Australia.

His international career did though finish with a flourish when he ran out Australia captain Ricky Ponting in the fifth Test at The Oval in 2009, a match England won by 197 runs to regain the Ashes.

Read more on:    ian botham  |  andrew flintoff  |  cricket

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Under fire Proteas coach Russell Domingo has blamed player workloads and fatigue as the reason for the national team's woeful showing in the Tri Series in the Caribbean. Your thoughts?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.