Andrew Flintoff's intended future as a have-bat-will-travel cricketer received its final confirmation yesterday. By signing a three-year deal with Lancashire to play limited-overs cricket, the all-rounder made clear his reasoning.
"This contract will also give me the flexibility to play other forms of one-day cricket around the world, which hopefully will help me to develop as a player and in turn help Lancashire and England," Flintoff said. For the moment Flintoff is far away from Lancashire, living temporarily in Dubai where he is recovering from recent surgery on his knee.
If that does not go according to plan he may not be able to play one-day cricket for Lancashire or anybody else. At 31 years of age, he should still be at the peak of his profession, but another bout of career-threatening surgery in August means another long period of rehabilitation.
Flintoff, who remains a draw card wherever he plays, has a wonderful record of coming back from injury and his determination to do so again was demonstrated by his willingness to uproot his family for several months and take them to the United Arab Emirates.
After retiring from Test cricket following England's Ashes victory in the summer, Flintoff said he wanted to become the best one-day cricketer in the world.
His new deal with Lancashire, which replaces a rolling one-year agreement, does not cover the four-day version of the game but Flintoff may make the occasional appearance. He said: "I have felt part of Lancashire ever since I first played here as a schoolboy and I want to help them achieve success.
"I am looking forward to being around the Lancashire dressing room more now I have retired from Test cricket.
"I have enjoyed many highs with England over the years, but I have not had the same success with Lancashire, and that is something I want to address. I have a good relationship with Peter Moores and Glen Chapple, and, hopefully, I can be of help to them both on the pitch and in the dressing room."
Flintoff is set to play one-day cricket for England, Lancashire, the Chennai Super Kings and is also believed to have spoken to teams in South Africa and Australia.