Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
England head coach Peter Moores has announced that Lancashire have to continue picking the “best side” even though former all-rounder Andrew Flintoff recently came out of retirement.
Moores, who used to be Lancashire’s head coach before being promoted to coach the national team, believes Flintoff could be a major asset if he remains fit and healthy. However, he could also turn out to be a liability if he continues to be picked ahead of players who are performing well.
“It’s a sensitive issue with the players that are there,” Moores said. “They are playing really good cricket at the moment, so definitely you’d think it would be a tough side to get into.
“A fit, strong, playing-well Andrew Flintoff is going to add to any side. But he is coming back from retirement, so they have got to make the assessment of where he is, against what they have in their current staff.
“To know that, you’d have to be on the inside. You have to be watching people practise and play and decide that it’s not too much of a distraction and if it’s going to work. It’s got to be a cricketing decision.
“It’s a challenge and it has to be handled well. But you have to pick the best side to play for Lancashire. That’s what the supporters are going to watch, and that’s the most important thing.”
Moores’ successor at Lancashire, Glen Chapple, noted that Flintoff would be monitored closely even though there is a lot of hype that he will make his comeback against Yorkshire.
“It would not be an easy game to come back in,” Chapple said. “In terms of him playing, we will just have to see how things go.
“The team will be picked on merit. When and if he plays, it will be very exciting for everybody who comes to watch.
“They have all been tough teams to pick. We are leaving out good players all the time, which is difficult to do. We have won the last four games and the squad will understand that. All we can do is pick the team we feel is the right one.
“The players who are in possession have done a fantastic job, especially our bowlers. We won’t be taking any liberties with their positions. They are doing really well. The way ‘Fred’ plays his cricket, you can see him being beneficial for any time. Let’s wait and see what Friday morning brings.”