Injured regular skipper Michael Vaughan fears he will never captain England again if Andrew Flintoff spearheads a successful Ashes defence this winter.
Vaughan, who will play no part in the series against Australia due to an ongoing knee problem, admitted Flintoff could be given the job permanently if he performs well Down Under.
"I am sure that if England go and win 3-0 or 4-0 in the Ashes with Freddie as captain it will be very difficult to take the captaincy back off him. But England know I am trying to get fit and hopefully I will give them a difficult question," Vaughan was quoted as saying by Daily Mirror.
"I consider it a huge honour that the selectors have kept faith with me as captain throughout all my injuries.
"I would like to think that is a testimony to the work I have done because we have developed a culture during the past couple of years that helped us beat the Aussies last summer.
"Even though I have not played for England for nine months, I am still thinking about the captaincy all the time and my enthusiasm and hunger are just as strong. Hopefully, I will get back on the cricket field sooner rather than later."
Vaughan is also confident that Flintoff will make a success of the captaincy role, but warned him against trying to take on too much during the gruelling series.
"Freddie must understand that he cannot do everything and his ultimate challenge in Australia will be how he looks after himself," Vaughan said.
"I am sure he will strike the right balance because he has also had a serious injury himself and his importance to the team goes without saying," Vaughan said of Flintoff.