Andrew Flintoff set for Test cricket retirement
Andrew Flintoff has announced he will retire from Test cricket at the end of this summer's Ashes series.
The 31-year-old has accepted defeat in his long-running battle against injuries and said: "My body has told me it's time to stop."
The Lancashire all-rounder, man-of-the-series during England's stunning 2005 Ashes success, made his announcement on Wednesday after struggling to overcome a succession of injuries during the last four years.
In the first Test in Cardiff, Flintoff suffered a recurrence of a right knee injury, which follows an operation earlier this year to cure a degenerative problem in the joint which flared up during his stint playing in the Indian Premier League.
That latest injury setback persuaded Flintoff that after 75 Tests for England, during which time he claimed 212 wickets and scored 3,658 runs including five centuries, the time was right to end his Test career and concentrate on playing international cricket at one-day and Twenty20 level.
"My body has told me it's time to stop," he added. "I've been through four ankle operations, I had knee surgery just a couple of months ago and had three jabs in my knee on Monday just to get me right for this Test so I took that as my body telling me that I can't cope with the rigours of Test cricket.
"Since 2005 I've done two years when I've done nothing but rehab from one injury or another. Two of the last four years I've spent just in rehabilitation and I just can't keep doing it for myself, my own sanity, my family and also for the team -because they need to move on as well.
"It's been something I've been thinking about for a while and I think this last problem I've had with my knee has confirmed to me that the time is now right.
"For the next four Test matches I'll do everything I need to do to get on a cricket field and I'm desperate to make my mark.
"I want to finish playing for England on a high and if you look at the fixtures going forward, the way my body is suggests I won't be able to get through that."