Andrew Flintoff comeback for St Annes may be no one-off despite being fined by team-mates

Andrew Flintoff could make more appearances for St Annes Cricket Club this season ... but admitted he would have to get some practice in first to avoid more team fines.

By Andy Moore
Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 12:30 pm

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It was Corey’s league debut for the senior side at the age of 15 – only slightly older than his dad was on making his first XI bow for St Annes almost three decades ago.

The TV presenter last played for St Annes in 2014 but answered the call of his old club to help them out and give Corey some moral support on his big day.

Andrew Flintoff back in action for St Annes at Morecambe on Saturday Picture: TONY NORTH

St Annes director of cricket, Richard Dearden, takes up the story: “We were short of players and our captain Tom Higson suggested that I gave Andrew a call, given that Corey would be playing.

“His response was, ‘I’ll put my whites in the car’. Then on the Friday he said he wasn’t bothered but would play if we were short.

“Anyway, he turned up and played. It was a bit strange because Morecambe Cricket Club is also a Covid vaccination centre, so we had doctors and nurses coming out to have photos with Andrew.

“He was out for three and said at the end that he needed a net but would play again.”

That’s despite ending the game out of pocket as the team operates a system of fines for mistakes in the field and even former England superstars have to cough up!

However, everyone was grateful for Flintoff’s participation and Dearden added: “It was also a help for Corey, who bowled well but didn’t have a lot of luck.”

Flintoff junior took his first NPCL wicket, dismissing a Morecambe opener, but will only be available for St Annes when his playing commitments at Manchester Grammar School allow.

Dearden admits St Annes aren’t overblessed with players as they look forward to Saturday’s opening home game against Lancaster and the club continues to strive to recruit a professional.

He added: “We had a player lined up from the Leeward Islands but their season was suspended because of Covid and they won’t complete it before the end of May, so that’s too late for us.

“It’s difficult to find the right player, especially one who is UK-based, and we are struggling but we’ll keep trying.”

St Annes lost a competitive game at Morecambe by four wickets, while Fylde coast rivals Blackpool and Fleetwood were both dismissed cheaply on the opening day and lost heavily.

Dearden wasn’t surprised to see some teams having difficulties, adding: “It’s 18 months since we’ve played league cricket and teams only had three weeks in the nets after lockdown – and the weather meant some of those nets were on artificial surfaces rather than grass.

“It’s just good to be playing cricket again and a full season would be great.”

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