Why has Andrew Flintoff retired from Test cricket?

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Freddie Flintoff gives his knees a quick breatherHave you seen the size of him and the way he bowls? It’s because of that.

Andrew Flintoff’s body can get through 30-odd overs in a Test match as easily as it can get through the eye of a needle.

We imagine that if you’re Andrew Flintoff, the impact on your joints when bowling feels like jumping off the garage roof while holding a big telly. He’s not built for fast bowling any more than an otter’s built for refrigerating food products.

Regardless of this, our official editorial stance about this news is ‘gutted’.


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  1. A couple of years ago, someone (I can’t remember who) said that the current test schedule made it impossible for a fast bowler to go through a career without a considerable time off through injury. He was making the point that the most successful teams in future years would be those with a pool of bowlers to choose from. I fear this is coming true.

  2. Hands up who’d sacrifice a substantial percentage of international cricket to ensure that they got to see the best fast bowlers bowling at their best more often…

  3. It’s the hard-impact bowlers of this world who can offer so much but break down. Akhtar and his hyperextension, Freddie and his effort balls, Malinga and his wanging — all hugely exciting, but all prone to injury.

    I’m sure that, with today’s professionalism, nutrition and physiotherapy, bowlers with classical actions will still be able to survive. It’s whether they can be arsed on 5-day batting pitches that I’m more concerned about.

  4. My hands are firmly down. I’d prefer to see medium pacers getting smashed for six during more and more Twenty20s. I just love it and need more. More is more is more is more. That’s what cricket is about. More of more.

    I think Michael Holding said it in some cricket magazine, Bert, maybe that one that published your comment as a lettter that time.

  5. You’re lying Charlton – it’s the dancers that you like – the cricket is just a distraction.

    Re Fred – I just loved his bish bash boshing of Kallis last year

  6. Did anyone pick up on Harmisons new piece of cricketing vernacular – the chief executives wicket.

    This is what has killed Freddie and will damage many other quicks but at least it draws the punters!

  7. Why on earth are they even considering playing him at Lord’s? Save him for the tests that he might just win for us; Edgbastard and Headingleech.

  8. I dunno, really. As a kid, why did he start bowling fast? He wasn’t forced or something, was he? To me that makes it seem like his body was okay with it. The idea that he’s been doing something – voluntarily, and for this long – that his body can’t handle, is kinda weird to me… I mean, if you can’t do it, it feels wrong, right? And if it feels wrong, why would you do it?

    I dunno, I have the feeling that his problems are at least as much due to mismanagement and people messing with his action as they are to physical incompatibility or whatever you want to call it.

  9. He never had to bowl at 90mph when he was taking up fast bowling. If you stick to 78mph you can probably bowl for ever.

    It’s worth thinking about how a fast bowler generates pace. Obviously there’s the arm speed, but the rest comes from a bit of mechanics. Bowler runs up, as fast as he can while still in control, then he jams his left foot into the ground to stop it dead. His linear momentum (sorry, KC) is then translated into a rotation about his left foot, which generates the extra pace. Oh, and to add a bit more, he twists then untwists his back.

    Just imagine asking Usain Bolt to win the 100m Olympic final and then stop within 5 yards. Reckon we’d see much of him on the sprint circuit?

  10. Bert –

    Nice analogy. Maybe bowlers should follow through all the way to the boundary.

    As far as Flintoff goes, this has surely been coming for a while now. Let’s hope he can give us a fitting send-off before everyone starts talking about Luke Wright as being the new Freddie.

  11. I was listening to an interview about Thommo the other day, where the interviewee mentioned that he [Thommo] knew it was right when his knee locked — he ran in, jammed his foot on the crease, and his entire body weight (including plenty of momentum, no doubt) would pivot around his knee to deliver one killer of a ball.

    And that’s why his knee got knackered.

    Bowling at 70mph is not natural. Bowling at 90mph is even less so.

  12. never felt all that unnatural to me. not that I’ve ever been able to bowl fast.

    isn’t there a lot of stuff that’s “unnatural” if you look at it this way? like javelin throwing for one, that’s pretty similar in terms of running up and then suddenly stopping, etc. maybe early man running up and flinging spears at things was also unnatural?

    also the “running in as fast as possible” isn’t really always true, there have been a lot of bowlers with measured, rhythmic approaches… holding comes to mind. thompson pretty much just ambled up.

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