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Flintoff doubtful for Twenty20 game against Australia

cricket Updated: Sep 13, 2007 10:08 IST

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England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff will only know on Thursday afternoon whether he will be fit for his side's Twenty20 World Championship game against favourites Australia on Friday.

England play their first game of the inaugural Cup Thursday against Zimbabwe, but coach Peter Moores is not expected to risk fielding Flintoff, whose injured left ankle has not still recovered fully.

Although Flintoff played last Saturday at Lord's to help England beat India in the decisive one-day international before both countries left for South Africa, his injury remains a cause for worry.

The player expressed the hope that his chances to play against the Australians were good, but added that he had accepted that he would battle with the ankle injury for the rest of his career.

Earlier reports quoted English bowling coach, former South African paceman Allan Donald, as saying that although Flintoff had a long one-day and Twenty20 career ahead of him, he doubted whether his ankle would survive a long Test career.

Flintoff is rated as England's most feared Twenty20 batsman after Kevin Pietersen. He is also regarded as one of England's most dangerous bowlers.

Commentators here believe that Flintoff will have to play a major role if England is to stand any chance of winning the competition.