Flintoff in talks with Heat for Big Bash stint

Australian Big Bash side the Brisbane Heat are closing in on signing former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff for the end of year festivities, according to coach Stuart Law.

Flintoff, who retired from the game five years ago with a knee injury, returned to action this season for Lancashire, coming out for retirement and a boxing habit to play in the T20 side, taking six wickets in three games.

Law told the Manchester Evening News: “We’ve had discussions with Freddie. And 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 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.

“I was interested to see how he would go with Lancashire last summer after so long out of the game and he certainly showed enough. He held his own and certainly didn’t embarrass himself. It was also good to have Usman Khawaja there too to see him close up.

“I am sure Fred will do the right thing for this team. I know he is working hard. And anyone who has dedicated himself to getting fit to become a boxer, and then to come back into cricket after being told he could never play again, that shows the discipline he has.

“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.

“And 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.

“He almost signed for Queensland in 2009 before injury forced him to retire. I think he wants to come and fulfil that now that he is back playing again.

“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.

“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.”