Flintoff appeals for Old Trafford development

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The Independent Online

Andrew Flintoff has appealed for cricket fans to petition Trafford Council to support Lancashire's redevelopment plans for Old Trafford.

The iconic all-rounder, who retired from Test cricket following last summer's Ashes success, has called on supporters to write to the council as they consider the county's extensive plans for renovations.



Old Trafford was controversially left off the roster for Australia's tour in 2009 and with more competition for top fixtures than ever before, a significant overhaul of facilities is thought to be key to its future as a frontline venue.



Flintoff's appeal read: "It's inconceivable to think that Test cricket will not be played at Old Trafford ever again, (but) 126 years of Test Match cricket at Old Trafford will come to an end if Trafford Council rejects Lancashire County Cricket Club's development plans for the ground when they meet in February.



"The ground has played an important role in the history of our great sport and even now, continues to produce intriguing and entertaining encounters in front of sold out crowds.



"To date, over 3,400 people have signed our online petition to keep international cricket at Old Trafford... but it's become apparent that physical letters, whether via post or email, will carry more weight during the council's deliberation."



Flintoff, meanwhile, looks unlikely to reverse his decision to retire from Test cricket despite announcing his interest in playing first-class fixtures for Lancashire next season.



The 32-year-old believes he can recover sufficiently from knee surgery to compete in four-day fixtures, having previously stated he would focus on limited-overs cricket.



But sources close to the player today played down media reports that he is targeting a place in the 2010/11 Ashes.



"At the moment Andrew is just focusing on playing cricket again," the source told Press Association Sport.



"At this stage there are no plans to reverse his decision to retire from Tests."



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