Andrew Flintoff to play in T20 matches involving former England and Australian greats

Andrew Flintoff helped England regain the Ashes in 2009 in his last Test series © Getty Images

London: May 24, 2013

Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff may no longer be a member of the England side but that won’t stop him from returning to cricket duty for Twenty20 action with an Australian twist.

With the Ashes underway, Flintoff — victorious in his one-bout boxing career — will be back on more familiar territory with two Twenty20 matches involving English and Australian cricket stars of yesteryear.

Also taking part in the Big Bash Challenge at the Grappenhall ground in Lancashire, north-west England, on July 30, will be players from the nearby Warrington Wolves rugby league club.

Grappenhall’s most famous member is former Lancashire and England batsman Neil Fairbrother, Flintoff’s agent, who said on Thursday: “Fred will be up for this all right. He was forced to retire through injury at 30. He is 34 now and will be determined to show he’s still got it.”

Wolves star Ben Westwood added: “All the lads are up for it, especially the Aussie players. Picking 11 players will be the hardest part.

“My best effort at the wicket may have been back at school in Normanton (Yorkshire) when I went six, four and out. I can’t wait to have a slog at Fred.”

A capacity crowd of 2,000 is expected at Grappenhall to see the likes of former England players Mark Ramprakash, Devon Malcolm, Dominic Cork, Gladstone Small and Phil de Freitas featuring in Flintoff’s England legends side.

Former Australia Test fast bowler Jason Gillespie, now the coach of Yorkshire, will captain the Aussie legends with the rest of his side to be announced soon.

Flintoff’s pace bowling and aggressive batting made him the star performer when England regained the Ashes in 2005.

And four years ago, in his final Test series before his his body could no longer stand the strain, he took five for 92 in England’s first Ashes win at Lord’s since 1934.