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Flintoff set for Aussie Big Bash T20 stint with the Brisbane Heat

| 15.10.2014

Former England captain Andrew Flintoff is closing in on a move to Australia’s T20 Big Bash League with 2013 winners Brisbane Heat.

The all-rounder, who has scored 7,315 international runs and taken 400 wickets for his country, came out of retirement last summer to play T20 cricket for Lancashire and helped lead them to the runners-up spot in the T20 Blast.

The Lancs star is arguably in the shape of his career and is now ready play T20 cricket around the world with Brisbane his likely first destination.

Former county team-mate Stuart Law is the current head coach of the Heat and is an influential part in trying to bring Flintoff to Brisbane to play alongside the likes of Aussie fast bowler Mitchell Johnson, all-rounder Shane Watson and New Zealand spinner Daniel Vettori.

“We’ve had discussions and hopefully we will be able to confirm next week,” the Heat coach told the Manchester Evening News.

“Fred is a proud man. He is not after the cash, he wants to contribute.”

Flintoff was reduced to just two games in England’s T20 competition after struggling with injury but he returned to the line-up for the final and showed his worth against the Birmingham Bears.

The 36-year-old, who has turned his hand to TV and boxing in his time away from cricket, took the key wicket of former England colleague Ian Bell and then hit a sublime 20 off just eight balls as he fell agonisingly short of getting Lancashire over the line.

And while Law knows Brisbane, who are 7/1 with Ladbrokes to win the Big Bash, will not be seeing Flintoff at the peak of his powers he still believes the Preston-born man can aid his side’s title charge.

“We know we will not be getting Freddie at his best from 2005, but if he is anywhere close then he will be great for us,” Law added.

“The Australian fans will love him. They won’t get on his back. He will create a following here and will love it in Brisbane.

“If he helps us win the tournament, he could then play in the Champions League with us and that could open up more doors for him in India.”

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Oliver Yew