Andrew Flintoff is poised to make a shock return to cricket after Lancashire announced they are in talks to bring back the former England all-rounder for their NatWest T20 Blast campaign.
Flintoff has not played competitively in nearly five years and bowed out of the game in a blaze of glory by helping England regain the Ashes in 2009, with his retirement, due to a succession of injuries, officially confirmed the following year.
But his old county have made no secret of the 36-year-old training with the first-team squad and working with academy players this season, while earlier this month, the Red Rose tellingly refused to rule out the prospect of Flintoff ending his retirement.
The chances of an imminent comeback are unlikely, with Lancashire beginning their T20 Blast campaign on Friday at Nottinghamshire, but Tuesday's announcement brings Flintoff a step closer to a surprise return.
"We are in talks with Andrew over possible involvement with the club during the NatWest T20 Blast campaign," Lancashire said in a statement.
Flintoff has embarked on a successful career in the media since retirement, featuring in a number of television and radio shows.
He also hit the headlines by making a brief foray into boxing in 2012, when he shed the pounds before beating American journeyman Richard Dawson in a poorly-received bout in Manchester.