Tue, Aug 07, 2007 - Page 18 News List

Flintoff expected to return for one day internationals

AP, LONDON

Allrounder Andrew Flintoff was expected to be selected for two England cricket squads late yesterday day after recovering from injury.

David Graveney, the chairman of selectors for the England and Wales Cricket Board, said Flintoff would likely be named in the squads for the seven-match limited overs series against India starting Aug. 21 and the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa starting Sept. 11.

"As far as we're concerned Freddie [Flintoff] is fit and eligible for both squads," Graveney said on Sunday. "All the reports we have received are that he is making good progress and he should be able to take part. The medical experts seem very pleased with him and we will be guided by their advice."

The 29-year-old Flintoff has not played for England since the World Cup in the Caribbean that finished in April.

He has missed all of England's Tests since then with a recurrence of left ankle problems and had another operation on June 1. Flintoff had surgery on the same ankle in July last year and it still troubled him when he led England in its 5-0 Ashes series loss.

Flintoff has returned to cricket in the past week with county side Lancashire. He missed England's 3-0 series win over the West Indies and the first two Tests against India. Flintoff will be rested for the third Test starting on Thursday at The Oval, which England need to win to avoid a series loss at home for the first time in six years.

"Freddie is crucial for both teams because he balances the side so well," Graveney said. "When he isn't around we have to either weaken the batting side of the team or the bowling."

Flintoff said he was happy with his progress.

"I'm not fully there but I'm pleased with where I'm at," Flintoff said.

England are expected to name several specialist players in the Twenty20 squad, including Dimitri Mascarenhas, Ravi Bopara and Darren Maddy.

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