Worry for England as Flintoff shows strain of workload

The long-term outlook for Andrew Flintoff has once again become a major concern after the England captain was taken for a scan on his troublesome left ankle. Flintoff, who has had two operations on the joint, complained of discomfort while bowling during the second Test in Adelaide, and could be seen limping towards the end of the match. The scan was clear, in that it revealed no further damage, but the results are largely irrelevant if he is still feeling pain.

Flintoff will play in next week's third Test in Perth no matter what. In a match of this importance he will bowl through the pain. But the big question is, how much longer can he continue doing this? If it is solely a reaction to back-to-back Test matches that will clear up in due course, then fine. But if his ankle is going to flare up every time he carries a heavy workload then Flintoff and England have problems. England have a week's break after Perth but the final two Tests, in Melbourne and Sydney, are back-to-back.

The England and Wales Cricket Board is attempting to make light of the events, saying that it was a convenient time for him to have a check-up. An ECB spokesman said: "After the second Test we took the opportunity to have a precautionary scan on his ankle which revealed no change at all. Flintoff netted with the England team this [yesterday] morning and will be available for the third Test."

What they did not mention is that Flintoff did not bowl in the session and is unlikely to bowl much over the coming week. There would also be no need for a scan unless there was some concern about the player's welfare. Watch this space.

Monty Panesar, a bowler who is hoping to play alongside Flintoff at the WACA, had a mixed day playing for an England XI in a limited-overs festival match in the suburbs of Perth. In his first proper bowl for almost three weeks Panesar took two wickets and held on to a catch at long off. But the left-arm spinner was struck for four huge sixes in 10 overs that conceded 63 runs.

An England XI containing three former Test cricketers - Alec Stewart, Robin Smith and Adam Hollioake - five members of the current touring squad and three Academy squad players, were thrashed by seven wickets by a Chairman's XI. A disappointing day was completed when Liam Plunkett injured a finger that required an X-ray.

Stewart, the England XI captain, believes England were right to leave Panesar out in Brisbane and Adelaide but feels he will play in next week's third Test. "Monty bowled all right," said the former England captain. "He was hit for a few sixes but seemed happy with the way the ball came out. I was not surprised he did not play in the first two Tests. Duncan Fletcher went for his bankers and backed his all-round cricketers. But I think he will play in Perth.

"Monty is not the be-all and end-all but he has so far done well for England on turning pitches. But he has not done so well on pitches that don't turn, like Lord's. But he is a special bowler. I am disappointed to see Fletcher receiving so much criticism because I believe the performance on the field is down to the players. They have to take responsibility for what has happened."

The Australia opener Justin Langer captained the Chairman's XI and enjoyed the aggressive approach of his batsmen towards Panesar. He said: "There has been so much talk about Panesar and it did not surprise me that the blokes went after him so hard."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power