Flint-off: England legend misses out on return for Roses T20 derby due to poor form

Andrew Flintoff has given cricket fans a no ball after the England legend will not feature in the battle of the Roses Natwest T20 game tonight.

An expectant sell-out crowd had hoped to see the 36-year-old in action for the first time in five years at Old Trafford.

But Flintoff will not be making his return for the tense encounter after he failed to impress in the second XI game.

There will be no shortage of international talent on show however, and Lancashire’s Karl Brown believes the atmosphere during a Roses clash makes this a special occasion.

“It’s one of the biggest games of the year because of the crowd,” Brown told the club’s website.

“It’s an awesome atmosphere to play in front of – to play in front of that many people it’s so easy to get up for the game.

“As you know from Championship games against Yorkshire, there is a bit of niggle there.

“We both want to get one over on each other and it will be no different on Friday.”

Despite the absence of Flintoff, there will be plenty of big names to get the Old Trafford crowd excited.

Jos Buttler has been overlooked for the England Test squad, which frees up the limited overs specialist to take to the field for Lancashire.

While Yorkshire will be without Joe Root, Gary Ballance and Liam Plunkett, who are all on England duty, they will field Jonny Bairstow and Tim Bresnan as well as big-hitting Australian Aaron Finch.

If Finch performs at his best the Old Trafford crowd may well have to don their hard hats as the opener boasts a frightening international T20 strike rate of 156.76.

Despite the obvious threat that Yorkshire pose, Brown is confident that Lancashire, who sit top of the North group, are capable of continuing their impressive form.

“We always talk about momentum and it’s with us at the moment,” he said.

“There’s a lot of confidence in the squad.

“If we can keep that and maintain the standards we’ve set, we can go a long way in this competition.

“We’ve got a chance to put ourselves in a great position at the top of the league and we can’t wait to get out there.”

Image courtesy of Simon Hughes, via Youtube, with thanks

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