London: Andrew Flintoff predicted England would have no trouble winning the Ashes in Australia "quite convincingly" without him, soon after announcing his retirement from all cricket.
The 32-year-old all-rounder finally admitted defeat in his longstanding battle against a knee injury that had already forced him into quitting the Test format and meant he had not played any major cricket whatsoever since helping England regain the Ashes at The Oval last year.
For all Flintoff was the central figure in England`s 2005 Ashes triumph, his display, a brilliant fast bowling spell in last year`s second Test against Australia apart, had been tailing off in the closing stages of his career.
And England, in the more than a year since he has been most recently out of international cricket, have drawn a Test series in South Africa, defeated Australia in the World Twenty20 final and in a home one-day series, while besting Bangladesh home and away.
England are also on the verge of completing a `treble` over Pakistan, whom they lead 2-0 in a five-match one-day campaign after Test and Twenty20 series wins this season.
"I think the England side will be fine," said Flintoff after announcing his retirement on Thursday.
"They`ve beaten Pakistan comprehensively. There`s a big winter coming up.”
"They`ve played for a long time without me. I think you`ll find professional sport moves on very, very quickly. That`s what England have done.”
"I expect England to go to Australia this winter and beat Australia quite convincingly," added Flintoff, England`s captain when they were hammered 5-0 on their last tour `Down Under` in 2006/07.
Earlier, Flintoff, an aggressive seamer and big-hitting batsman, said he`d retired on medical grounds ending any hope he might turn out for state side Queensland in Australia`s domestic Twenty20 competition.