|Event:||Australia in British Isles 2009|
DateLine: 30th June 2009
England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff said that he is carrying no mental scars from the last Ashes into this summer's battle. The right-hander is determined to make up for lost time after the injury setbacks. The Lancashire player was captain when England were demolished 5-0 during the 2006-2007 series Down Under. This was in sharp contrast to the 2-1 home triumph in 2005. But Freddie said he wants to look forward then back.
"The last Ashes was a low point of my career. You experience the euphoria of 2005 and then the disappointments of 2006-2007. Probably the last series was emotionally the stronger of the two," Flintoff said.
"But all that is behind us. We have got a very new team, and rather than dining out on 2005 or dwelling on 2006-2007, it is all about what happens over the next six weeks.
"Of course, it was tough for a while after losing 5-0, but it is long gone now and a lot of things have happened in my life since 2006-2007.
"As for any mental scars, I wouldn't say there are a great deal there. I am just looking forward to playing.
The one thing for me is when you play, have confidence, but more important is enjoying it. Going into this series, I am going to enjoy playing.
"A lot of the lads weren't involved in 2006-2007, but you don't need any extra incentive when going into an Ashes series. It is the biggest thing for an Englishman to play in. I don't need any extra incentive. I just want to perform."
Flintoff is keen on an elongated spell of action. He says that his belief could make him the force he was in 2005.
"From my point of view, through all the injuries I had, if I didn't think I could come back and play the cricket I played in the past or be better, I don't think I would have done it.
"You miss England more as you get older. When you have missed as much cricket as me, of course you do. I've had something like two years rehab since 2005 and it has been tough.
"The reason you do is to put back on that England shirt and get the chance to play in an Ashes series.
"I'm not far away from that now but, as you get older, you don't want to miss much cricket because you don't know how much you've got in you."
Flintoff said he is on track and would be firing on all cylinders for the first Test at Cardiff beginning July 8.
"For the past eight weeks, since the knee operation, I've been working hard. Hopefully, that is all behind me now. I'll just maintain my fitness and look after my knee as well as my ankle," he said.
"I've played three weeks for Lancashire, bowled my overs, managed to score a few runs, and I'm pleased where I am at this stage.
"This game with Warwickshire is the final piece of the preparation for the team and also for myself.
"I've played two championship games and three Twenty20s and so this last game is important, for form and also to bowl some overs and to get some more runs."
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