England's Andrew Flintoff, regarded as one of the finest all-rounders of the game, today announced his retirement from international cricket, bringing down the curtains on a 12-year career which was marked by nagging injuries and controversies.
The 32-year-old Flintoff, who had announced his retirement from Test cricket after the 2009 Ashes triumph in the Oval Test, decided to quit all forms of the game with immediate effect because of a long-standing knee injury.
Flintoff, who played 79 Tests and compiled 3845 runs (ave 31.77) and claimed 226 wickets, was considered one of the most talented cricketers to emerge from England in recent times though there were some critic who felt he did not justify his immense potential.
In 141 one-dayers, Flintoff scored 3394 runs (ave 32.01) and took 169 wickets while he featured in seven Twenty20s claiming five scalps.
His achievements in the cricket field were at times overshadowed by a series of controversies, which ranged from waving his shirt during England's 2001-02 India tour to the infamous pedalo incident during the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies.
After quitting Test cricket, Flintoff underwent a series of knee surgeries and hoped to return to action this season, but that was ruled out last month.
The Lancashire cricketer then aimed for Twenty20 stints in Australia and the Indian Premier League, where he plays for Chennai Superkings.
But Flintoff didn't have any option but to quit after the latest meeting with his surgeon, who told him that his body won't be able to stand the wear and tear of cricket any more.
"It is with both disappointment and sadness that I am today announcing my retirement from all forms of cricket,"said Flintoff.
"The decision to end my career came yesterday after consultation with medical advisers. I was told that the problems I have been trying to overcome in re-hab for the last year following the latest in a series of operations would not recover sufficiently to allow a comeback.
"Having been told that my body would no longer stand up to the rigours of cricket, I had no alternative but to retire," he added.
Flintoff said he would take a break before deciding his future engagements."I would like to thank my family, Lancashire Cricket Club, England, all my sponsors, friends and advisers for all the help and support they have given me throughout my career.
"Last, but by no means least, I am indebted to the encouragement and support I have always received from England's magnificent supporters. I will now be taking a break before deciding which future direction to take," he said.