Andrew Flintoff earns T20 future despite final agony

Flintoff hits Oliver Hannon-Dalby for consecutive sixes at the end of the penultimate over

Former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff is ready for a new career playing Twenty20 cricket around the world after his comeback with Lancashire went close to a fairytale ending in the NatWest Blast final at Edgbaston on Saturday.

The 36-year-old is likely to be offered the chance to play for his home county again in domestic T20 next year and may land opportunities in Australia’s Big Bash and the Ram Slam Challenge tournament in South Africa in the coming winter.

After announcing his comeback in May, Flintoff appeared in only two of Lancashire’s group matches in the NatWest Blast before suffering a calf problem and played in Saturday’s final against Birmingham only after bowler Kabir Ali aggravated a shoulder injury in Lancashire’s semi-final win over Hampshire.

Yet he took the wicket of England batsman Ian Bell with the first delivery of a two-over spell before hitting 20 off eight balls to take Lancashire close to a target of 182 to beat Birmingham.

Coming in at No 9 with Lancashire still 30 runs short with only 13 balls left, Flintoff hit Oliver Hannon-Dalby for consecutive sixes at the end of the penultimate over, only for the task of scoring 14 more off the last six balls to prove just too big for him and partner Stephen Parry as Birmingham prevailed by four runs to lift the trophy for the first time.

Paul Horton, Lancashire’s T20 captain, said of Flintoff: “I’m sure we would find room for him in our squad.

“To come from not playing any cricket to get a wicket with your first ball, and then to walk in at nine needing to make something happen and to hit the ball out of the park, he still has the raw ability to perform at this level.”

Flintoff’s cameo came after another disappointment for Kevin Pietersen, who made only 13 as his Surrey side were knocked out by Birmingham in the semi-finals.

Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'