London, July 29 (ANI): England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff has been sleeping with an ice machine in an attempt to stay fit and help his side win back the Ashes.
According to former fast bowler and now Telegraph cricket correspondent Derek Pringle, Flintoff is seen as an inspirational figure in the England camp, and every effort is being made to keep him fit and running in spite of his pain.
"I have this machine that I put on the knee every night. It gets in the way a little bit. It wraps around my knee and compresses it, half-an-hour on, half-an-hour off, throughout the night," Flintoff said Tuesday.It is not the first time England have used a machine to try to put one over the Australians. In 2005, their use of the Merlin bowling machine was cited as a major factor in combating Shane Warne, though with the wrist-spinner taking 40 wickets in the series its success was relative.
In England's practice on Tuesday, Flintoff undertook a 10-minute trundle at a stump followed by a short net in which he sent down 11 balls.
According to Pringle, reading Flintoff's body language is never easy.
"He looked pensive, especially when sitting down to put his pads on (which he did twice) then, later, while lacing up his bowling boots. Earlier, he spent 10 minutes chatting with Steve Bull, the team psychologist, though this might have been about the weather rather than his personal expectations for this match," says Pringle in his report.
Flintoff is not the only one with a fitness cloud hanging over him after Ian Bell twisted his right ankle playing football on Monday. (ANI)