Flintoff warms up with wickets
Andrew Flintoff warmed up for his Lancashire comeback almost five years after retiring with three wickets as he turned out for his old club side St Annes on Saturday.
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Flintoff took three for 26 in 12 overs, which also included five maidens, as St Annes dismissed Penrith in 48 overs and set themselves a target of 133 to win in the Northern League match.
The 36-year-old former England all-rounder, who signed up for this season's NatWest T20 Blast competition with Lancashire Lightning this week, then scored just two runs on a more disappointing return with the bat - while wearing his old England helmet.
St Annes went on to win the match by two wickets.
Flintoff said on Twitter: "Loving my day - 11 (sic) overs and great fun.
"Had a bit if help from Watty the keeper for my first wicket, still not sure it carried."
Following his short innings with the bat, he added: "Blocked one to long off for 2 off 3 !!"
Flintoff retired in 2010 after suffering knee problems and wear on his body and has represented England in 79 Tests, 141 one-day internationals and seven Twenty20 games.
Despite that, Flintoff is determined it will not stop his return to action.
"I don't want it to be for (just) one year. I'm 36. I feel young, I behave like I'm young," the former England captain said.
"I can't guarantee performance. I might not get picked for Lancashire's first team. I've got to prove myself."
Flintoff later tweeted a response to Sir Ian Botham after the former England captain said the 36-year-old was making a "massive mistake" in returning to cricket.
Botham said of Flintoff's comeback in his column in Saturday's Daily Mirror: ''While I wish him all the very best, I think he is making a massive mistake.
''To come back after five years out of the game and with that injury still in the background is a huge risk. I just hope he does not let himself down too badly.''
Flintoff tweeted on Saturday evening: "Great day today loved it @StAnnesCC !Thanks for your concerns @BeefyBotham but being a happy is never a mistake !"