Andrew Flintoff has spoken enthusiastically of getting involved in helping coach the UAE cricket team while he is in Dubai regaining his fitness. The Englishman, who was speaking publicly for the first time on the arrangement yesterday, said he hopes to work with the side and coach Colin Wells as he recovers from surgery on his right knee. He said: "They have amazing facilities in Dubai, I've offered my services to the UAE if I can help in any way."
The planned arrangement, which was announced earlier this month, will see Flintoff, 31, use the gym and sports facilities at Dubai Sports City as a base for his rehabilitation, while assisting on an occasional basis with the UAE. Meanwhile, the all-rounder who helped England regain the Ashes from Australia before retiring from Test cricket in the summer, has defended his decision not to sign an England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) deal.
Flintoff is still expected to feature in one-day internationals and Twenty20 matches for his country, and he said he is still committed to England despite not penning the deal. "The reason I didn't sign the contract is that I'm 31, I know my body, I still have some personal ambition," he said. "If the opportunity arose to play in Australia I would love to do that, I wanted to go when I was younger but because we've toured every winter for the past 15 years, I've not had a chance to do that.
"Sometimes players have the end of their careers creep up on them very quickly and they are left with nothing to do. I want to work and I didn't want any restraints on that. There are reasons [why I didn't sign] but none of them are that I didn't want to play cricket for England." * With agencies