Flintoff must change bowling action to save his career


Last updated at 19:49 08 September 2007

Andrew Flintoff has been advised by the England medical team that he must consider changing his

bowling action to prolong his international career.

Flintoff played his full part

with a brilliant bowling

display in the excellent

NatWest series-deciding

victory over India at Lord's

yesterday, following a

cortisone injection in his

chronically unstable left

ankle to enable him to play.

Andrew Flintoff

The all-rounder celebrated

his latest comeback with a

vintage five-over spell of

sustained hostility during

which he touched speeds in

excess of 90 mph, snaring

Rahul Dravid and Sachin

Tendulkar in the space of nine

deliveries and leaving the

Indian innings in ruins at 59-4.

Concerns grew during the 20

minutes he was then absent from the field, but he was

able to return after

adjustment to his ankle

strapping and produced three

further short spells, taking

the last Indian wicket of

Mahendra Dhoni to end their

innings on 187 all out and

complete figures of 3-48 in

8.3 overs.

The alarm bells began to

ring again when Flintoff

complained afterwards of

some soreness, but England

breathed easier when it was later confirmed he would be

able to take his place in the

Twenty20 World Cup squad

departing for South Africa

this evening.

All being well,

England hope that, despite

last night's scare, and last

week's setback, he remains a

viable proposition in one-day

and Test cricket.

And they

will want to demonstrate that

by rewarding him with one of

the full ECB contracts handed

out tomorrow.

At a lengthy meeting in London this week —

attended by Flintoff's

surgeon, rehab partner Dave

Roberts and the full ECB

medical team — Flintoff was

advised that further surgical

intervention is pointless.

As part of a package

designed to manage the

injury, a change to his

bowling action is necessary.

Close inspection of his

bowling at Lord's yesterday

suggested Flintoff has started

the process.

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