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Freddie Flintoff returns hoping to fire Lancashire forward

Former iconic England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff has announced he will play for home county Lancashire Lightning in this season’s NatWest T20 Blast, five years after retiring from the sport.

Before quitting, he managed 16 matches in this form of cricket, averaging an impressive 13.94 as a bowler, and 29.64 as a batsman. He hit a high-score of 93 against Derbyshire.

In the match against arch-rivals Yorkshire, he is 9/2 to be top Lancashire bowler, and 8/1 for best batsman. He is also priced at 8/1 to get a 50. Flintoff, meanwhile, is a 12/1 shot to win the T20 Blast with his county, as long as he plays in the final, and is 500/1 to hit the winning runs.

Now 36 years old, the 2005 Ashes hero has confirmed he will return to the shortest form of the game. His participation has brought much interest, and will no doubt bring the crowds in once more to get a glimpse of the man affectionately known as Freddie.

Flintoff said: “I’m really honoured to be part of Lancashire once again. It is something that I never thought would happen but after training with the squad over the last few months I am really happy that they have invited me to play.

“I have worked really hard to get back to my fittest and I hope that we have a successful summer. I’m just glad that I can be part of it.”

The county’s director Mike Watkinson, meanwhile, added: “We are delighted to have Fred involved once again at the club. He is Lancashire through and through and his record for both club and country speaks for itself.

“Fred has been back at Emirates Old Trafford under his own steam since the winter and has been working with the academy and in the nets with some of the other players.

“Over a period of time he has picked up on his physical conditioning and this continues to improve. He has shown in practice that he still has plenty of class with bat and ball, and will be a great addition to the NatWest T20 Blast squad.”

After retiring from cricket at the age of 31, he tried out a career in professional boxing, and won his only fight against American Richard Dawson on points in November 2012.

Despite stopping cricket relatively early, due to injury, he managed to play in 79 Tests, 141 ODIs and seven Twenty20 internationals for England. Coral offer special odds of 50/1 for Flintoff to play for his country again.