London: Andrew Flintoff`s much-talked about return to county cricket won`t take place this week after he was left out of Lancashire`s squad to play Yorkshire in a Twenty20 match at Old Trafford on Friday.
Last week saw Lancashire announce that the 36-year-old all-rounder was back in their Twenty20 squad five years after the former England captain`s injury-induced retirement.
But after he took scored just 16 and took two wickets but leaked 39 runs in a second XI T20 defeat by Leicestershire at Arundel on Thursday, Flintoff was omitted from the senior Lancashire squad announced for the `Roses` match, with the side bidding for their fifth straight win in this season`s competition.
England great Ian Botham warned Flintoff was making a "massive mistake" in coming out of retirement. Flintoff, like Botham a pace bowling allrounder and ex-England captain, was forced to quit in 2009, his ankles and knees having repeatedly suffered from the pounding they took as he charged in.
"While I wish him all the very best, I think he is making a massive mistake," Botham wrote in a recent Daily Mirror column. "We`ve not seen Fred on a cricket field since those memorable days in 2009 - and five years is a long time out of the game.
"Unless he`s managed to swap knees with someone, I don`t know how it has suddenly got better, allowing him to tear in and play the game properly."
But after playing for club side St Annes last weekend, Flintoff tweeted: "Thanks for your concerns @BeefyBotham but being happy is never a mistake!" A powerful batsman and aggressive bowler, Flintoff`s best series was when he scored 402 runs and took 24 wickets as England regained the Ashes 2-1 in 2005.