Miller justifies Flintoff omission
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Player:A Flintoff
Event:Australia in British Isles 2009

DateLine: 10th August 2009


England Chairman of selector Geoff Miller has defended the decision to omit Andrew Flintoff from the England side for the fourth Ashes Test.


Flintoff's agent has claimed that the all-rounder had informed selectors he was prepared to play through the pain but the offer was turned down.


The 31-year-old has an ongoing knee problem which forced the selection committee to take a decision against him in the fourth Test.


He will see a specialist today ahead of a decision on his fitness for next week's fifth Test, and Miller believes it was right to leave him out of the Headingley encounter which England lost by an innings and 80 runs.


"We had to guarantee that Fred could do the job required to bowl the overs," Chairman of selectors, Miller told Radio Five Live.


"We'd been monitoring his injury day by day and the selectors felt that it was better that he didn't play in that game.


"Yes, he might have thought he was fit to do a certain job but we had to work out whether he'd be fit to do a constant job, meaning bowl the amount of overs required to get the 20 wickets.


"We have to go on the medical advice. We know that Freddie's passionate to play for England, I accept that, but there are a lot of other ideals we have to work to, such as taking medical advice.


"If the medics say there's still a problem there, then we have to accept what their viewpoint is."


Andrew Chandler, Flintoff's agent though claimed that he had "never seen anybody as low" as the all-rounder was after being told he would sit out.


Chandler told the Times: "I've never seen anybody as low as Flintoff was on Thursday night when he was told he would not be selected.


"He told them that he was fit enough to get through, that he felt no different to how he felt at Edgbaston and that he could get through and do his bit. They didn't want him.


"He was prepared to do whatever it takes, was prepared to put whatever needed to be put into his knee.


"The whole point of announcing his retirement when he did was to clear his head and prepare to do whatever needed to be done to play the final Test matches of his career.


"He just didn't see it coming. He wanted to play and they didn't want him, and he didn't see that coming at all."


Flintoff was conspicuous by his absence from the England balcony for the duration of the Headingley Test, but Miller revealed relations remain good with his talismanic star.


"Everything is fine with Fred. No problems whatsoever," he said.


"He knows the situation, he knows there's a problem there and we will monitor that day by day.


"The England side, when Freddie's performing to his maximum as we saw at Lord's, is a terrific side, and it disappoints him when he's not playing."


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