Flintoff forced to call it a day

September 25, 2010 | In: Articles

Andrew Flintoff has bowed to the inevitable and announced his retirement from all forms of cricket after failing to recover from his long-standing knee injuries.

The 32-year-old Lancastrian retired from Test cricket after last year’s Ashes victory and immediately underwent knee surgery. He had hoped to return to action this season, but has been told to call it a day by his surgeon.

In 79 Tests, all-rounder Flintoff scored 3,845 runs for England at an average of 31.77 and also took 226 wickets at 32.78.

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In rugby union, Ospreys and Wales star Gavin Henson has admitted he would prefer to play for a London-based club as he attempts to get his career back on track.

The 28-year-old wants to quit the Ospreys to be closer to his children in the English capital following his much-publicised split from Charlotte Church.

Henson is on indefinite unpaid leave from the Ospreys and is contracted to the west Wales region until the end of this season.

In rugby league, Bradford Bulls have signed the former Hull and Crusaders winger Gareth Raynor on a one-year deal.

The 32-year-old is currently serving time in an open prison in South Yorkshire for offences relating to counterfeiting and common assault and, although he is due to be released on 31 December, he could be out as early as 4 October.

Meanwhile, Castleford Tigers have completed the signings of St Helens pair Nick Fozzard and Jacob Emmitt for the 2011 Super League campaign.

Fozzard, 33, has struggled to make a telling impact for Saints’ first team in recent times while 21-year-old Emmitt has penned a two-year contract at The Jungle.

In football, Manchester United expect Antonio Valencia to miss most of the season after the Ecuador international had a successful ankle operation on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old winger was stretchered off the pitch after dislocating and fracturing his left ankle during Tuesday’s Champions League draw against Rangers.

Finally, the former Scotland captain Barry Ferguson has not ruled out a return to international football.

The 32-year-old Birmingham City midfielder has revived his career following his transfer from Rangers to St Andrew’s.

Ferguson was banned by the Scottish Football Association for taking part in a late-night drinking session at the Scotland team’s hotel and making gestures to the media while sitting at Hampden as a substitute against Iceland when George Burley was in charge of the national team.

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