Andrew Flintoff recently made a comeback for Lancashire in T20 cricket © Getty Images
Andrew Flintoff recently made a comeback for Lancashire in T20 cricket © Getty Images

London: Oct 14, 2014

Andrew Flintoff is close to joining Brisbane Heat for the Big Bash League (BBL) 2014-15, the Australian club’s coach revealed in a British newspaper interview published on Tuesday. Flintoff, aged 36, ended five years in retirement earlier this year when he returned to former club Lancashire for England’s T20 Blast tournament.  After initial struggles with injury, he caught the eye on T20 finals day — notably dismissing former England team-mate Ian Bell with his first ball — and it convinced Brisbane to move for his services.

“We’ve had discussions with Freddie,” Brisbane coach Stuart Law, who was at Lancashire from 2002 to 2008, told regional newspaper the Manchester Evening News. “If things go well, hopefully we will be able to confirm next week that he will play some part in the Big Bash for us. I am really excited by the idea. We get on really well and have had plenty of good times down the years during my time with Lancashire. He will be the biggest signing Brisbane Heat has made.”

While Flintoff’s best days are clearly behind him, Law said that he would not be moving to Australia just to pick up a sizeable pay-check. “I have spoken to Fred and made it clear that this is not a holiday, but he told me cricket is number one for him, and that it is not about collecting cash, it’s about winning trophies,” said Law.

“I am sure Fred will do the right thing for this team. He is a proud man. He is not after the cash. He wants to contribute to the team. 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. 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.”

Flintoff has previously expressed an interest in playing in the Big Bash. In August he told BBC Radio 5 Live: “If there’s an opportunity there, why not? It’s one of the things I’ve wanted to do. I was about to sign for Queensland in 2009 when I retired.”