England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff has been ruled out of the fourth Ashes Test against Australia at Headingley on Friday, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced.
Flintoff has been troubled throughout this series by a right knee injury. Following a nets session here on Thursday, it has now been decided the fast bowler is not fit enough to withstand the demands of a five-day match.
The ECB subsquently announced fast bowler Stephen Harmison would replace Flintoff in the only change to the team that drew the third Test at Edgbaston.
A statement on the ECB website said: ”England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff will play no part in the penultimate Ashes Test against Australia at Headingley due to a knee injury.
”The England management this morning confirmed he is not fit enough to play.”
His absence is a big blow for England. It was Flintoff who led England to victory with the ball in their 115-run second Test win at Lord’s and top-scored for the hosts in the drawn third Test at Edgbaston.
The 31-year-old’s career has been blighted by injuries and earlier this season Flintoff announced he would retire from Test cricket at the end of this Ashes series. — AFP