Flintoff in shock after retirement

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Andrew Flintoff admits the news he has been forced to retire from cricket has not sunk in.

The all-rounder, who has not played since the final Ashes Test last summer and has seen a number of return dates come and go in his fight to overcome a chronic knee problem, was told his body would not be able to cope with his planned comeback.

Flintoff had initially planned to play for Lancashire this summer and was reportedly in negotiations to play domestic Twenty20 cricket in Australia and New Zealand, but he has now accepted his professional career is over.

"I had a scan at the beginning of the week which confirmed what I suspected - that the knee wasn't quite right and I had a meeting in Glasgow on Wednesday with the surgeon," Flintoff said.

"He just confirmed that the operation I had 12 months ago has been fine but not good enough to start playing cricket again.

"Although I was hopeful of playing a few weeks ago for Lancashire second team, in my own mind I wasn't quite right."

He added: "I'm not quite sure it's sunk in. I think it's going to take a while. The decision's been made for me. In some ways it's good it is the end of the season so I can almost pretend I'm going to start playing next year.

"It's going to be difficult, it's something I've done professionally for nearly 17 years. Since I was a kid all I've wanted was to play cricket."

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