Andrew Flintoff to make comeback for Lancashire in T20 Blast

Former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff has come out of retirement to play for Lancashire in the T20 Blast.

The 36-year-old quit in 2010 but has been training with the county.

"I feel young, I behave like I'm young," he told BBC Radio 5 live Sport. "It's the easiest decision I've made in my career.

"Lancs think I can do it, I think I can do it. I can't guarantee performance but I'm going to have a go at this. I've got to prove myself."

Flintoff is unlikely to play against the Birmingham Bears - Warwickshire's new T20 name - at Old Trafford on Friday, but he is expected to make his return in the home match against Yorkshire on 6 June.

He is set to play for former club St Annesexternal-link against Penrith in the Northern League on Saturday.

Flintoff played 79 Tests, 141 limited-overs internationals and seven Twenty20sexternal-link for England between 1998 and 2009.

He was a leading member of the Ashes-winning teams of 2005 and 2009 but was captain when England were whitewashed in Australia in 2006-07.

A series of injuries forced his retirement and, as well as media work, Flintoff also made his boxing debut in 2012.

He added: "I'm playing for the reasons that I first started playing cricket, because I love the game and I enjoy it.

"When I'm in the nets, I'm stood in there with a bat in my hand just grinning. When I'm bowling, it still hurts a bit, but I'm loving running into bowl and if I can take that into a game I might be quite dangerous."

He added that he did not want his return to last for just a year, pointing out that the likes of Brad Hogg, Glen Chapple and Brad Hodge were still performing at the top level at the age of 43, 40 and 39 respectively.

In Hodge's case, he is still playing for Australia, turning out in the World Twenty20 earlier this year.

Prior to announcing his comeback for Lancashire, Flintoff said he had hoped to have been selected for July's invitational match at Lord's between Marylebone Cricket Club and a World XI in July.

But he was overlooked, wrecking his dream of playing alongside India legend Sachin Tendulkar but firing his ambition to make a competitive return.

"John Stephenson from the MCC phoned me up and I thought the call was to tell me where to turn up and who was in the side," said Flintoff.

"The kids were in the car and he told me they didn't want me. He said they've got Brian Lara and all these other people.

"I saw my kids' faces and that's the first time they'd seen their dad told he can't do something. They said: 'Never mind, there will be other games'. And I thought: 'There will be actually.'"

Flintoff said the knockbacks coupled with the belief that he could still perform at the top level helped him decide to come back.

"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 said.

The T20 Blast started earlier this month but Lancashire have 10 of their 14 group games remaining.

Listen to Andrew Flintoff's full interview with former England team-mate Steve Harmison on BBC Radio 5 live Sport from 19:00 BST.

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