BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – West Indies will have to deal with the threat of England’s talismanic all-rounder Freddie Flintoff, when they go in search of a series-leading win in Friday’s third One-Day International at Kensington Oval.
The heavyset Flintoff has been passed fit to play in the crucial encounter, after sitting out the doubleheader in Guyana last weekend with a sore hip.
“I’ve bowled as near to 100 per cent as probably can do in a net because playing in a match brings a bit more out of you,” said Flintoff, who missed the two final matches of the preceding Test series with the injury.
“I’ve been bowling for the last week, bowled 10 overs over the previous two days and done my training and work. I was close to playing on Sunday but we erred on the side of caution and I’ll definitely be fit for Friday.”
Flintoff sustained the injury during the dramatic third Test in Antigua when West Indies narrowly held on for a tense draw at the Antigua Recreation Ground.
He subsequently returned home during the fourth Test at Kensington Oval to get further treatment.
Flintoff’s inclusion will cause England’s management some selection headaches with either of the fast bowlers Stuart Broad, James Anderson or Steve Harmison likely to make way for him.
The five-match series is tied at 1-1 after England won the first ODI last Friday by one run under the Duckworth/Lewis Method and West Indies struck to win by 21 runs in the second ODI two days later.
Kensington Oval will host the fourth ODI on Sunday before the series ends in St Lucia on April 3.