|Player:||A Flintoff, AJ Strauss|
|Event:||Australia in British Isles 2009|
DateLine: 11th August 2009
The talismanic English all-rounder Andrew Flintoff is expected to be fit for the series-deciding Ashes Test against Australia, the England and Wales Cricket Board said. The swelling on Flintoff’s right knee has “significantly eased” after he sat out the fourth Test, the board said. England lost by an innings and 80 runs to leave the best-of-five contest tied at 1-1. The final Test starts Aug. 20.
“Subject to further rest and intensive treatment, he will be available for selection for the fifth Ashes Test at the Oval,” the board said in a statement late yesterday.
England captain Andrew Strauss said after the loss at Headingley in Leeds that he wanted an early decision made on Flintoff’s participation in a match the home team must win to clinch the Ashes for only the second time in 20 years.
Flintoff, the man of the series in the 2005 Ashes, lifted England to victory in the second Test by taking five wickets for 92 on the final morning and then top scored for his team with 74 in the drawn third Test. He was only ruled out of the fourth Test hours before the start of play.
Yesterday’s assessment from team doctors and the player’s specialist matches Flintoff’s own appraisal of his injury. The 31-year-old, who is retiring from Tests after the series, declared himself ready to play in the last match though management was unwilling to gamble on his fitness, the Times of London reported yesterday, citing Flintoff’s agent Andrew Chandler.