ANDREW Flintoff's Ashes bid received a boost yesterday after scoring 12 runs against a side throwing the ball quite fast.
Flintoff's haul, which equals the highest innings scored by English batsmen during the 20/20, came off 15 balls in 18 minutes. An ECB spokesman said: "Ideally, we wouldn’t have wanted Freddie to be out in the crease for that long.
"Anything more than 25 minutes and he tends to fall to bits like an Ikea wardrobe that's been bumped into by a chihuahua. He might look like twenty stone of galoot but he seems to be made of meringue."
Lancashire coach Peter Moores refused to wrap Flintoff in cotton wool, adding: "Freddie needs plenty of lumps of wood hurling at his fragile body if he's to be fit.
"Besides which, he's actually allergic to cotton wool. When he was 21 he almost died after using a q-tip to clean his nose."
Flintoff's career has been plagued by injury since his local pub moved to heavier pint glasses with handles in 2001. And he missed the 2006 Sri Lanka ODI series when a dropped Dundee cake fractured his metatarsal.
Moores said: "He can still hit the ball almost 50% of the time and the opposition still need several goes before turning his stumps into a hundred thousand tiny matchsticks.
"And you should see him throwing the ball, too. He can do it overarm and everything."