Flintoff to step up fitness return

Andrew Flintoff

Andrew Flintoff

Andrew Flintoff is set to bowl for England for the first time since June when he lines up against the West Indies in the ICC Champions Trophy.

The England captain has not bowled for the international team since the Test series with Sri Lanka because of an ankle problem and subsequent surgery.

However, coach Duncan Fletcher has confirmed Flintoff may bowl a restricted number of overs as England continue their preparations for their Ashes defence down under next month.

Fletcher said: “I don't think he is going to bowl his 10 overs but it may get to the stage where we say ‘right, bowl three or four overs’.

“There is a chance of that.

“We have to treat Fred with kid gloves, he is bowling a lot more than four overs in the nets, but there is a difference between the nets and out in the middle.

“It is very difficult for Andrew. He is captaining as well as he can at this stage.

“He is an inexperienced captain and he will have to learn quickly.”

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