Flintoff wants to play the long game

The England all-rounder will not be content to just be a one-day specialist if he returns from a career-threatening knee injury saying he would love to play in the Tests.

DUBAI // Andrew Flintoff, the England all-rounder, will not be content to just be a one-day specialist if he returns from a career-threatening knee injury. Flintoff is in Dubai recovering from double surgery on his troublesome right knee and had been expected to play limited-overs cricket for England, Chennai Super Kings and Lancashire following his rehabilitation.

But he has now recalibrated his expectations, believing his body could stand up to the rigours of four-day cricket with Lancashire, his English county side. The news will raise the hopes of England fans that Flintoff could make a dramatic return to Test cricket, possibly against Australia later this year. Whether England, who have adapted well to life without their talismanic all-rounder, would consider picking the 32-year-old again is a moot point.

When asked if he harbours a return to the Test arena, Flintoff said: "I would love to play Test cricket again, but the reason I retired was because you can get injured. One of the reasons was because I didn't think I could do it physically but if you ask any Test cricketer who's retired they would say they would love to play again," he added. "I've still got a lot of ambition. I still believe that when I'm fit and playing well I can get into England's best side.

"To go through six months of rehab again just for one-day cricket, the incentive wouldn't be enough," he continued. "I want to help Lancashire win something. "My priorities have changed. I thought I was only going to be able to play one-day cricket for England and Lancashire but I've spoken to the surgeon and I'm confident that I will be able to play four-day cricket for Lancashire." Flintoff underwent major knee surgery in August and then developed deep vein thrombosis in his right calf. He then underwent an arthroscopic operation two weeks ago and was walking with a limp yesterday.

"At least I'm not back on crutches," he said. "The surgeon says it's mending well and it's all going great." @Email:sports@thenational.ae

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