News that Andrew Flintoff’s latest comeback from a long standing hangover has been delayed once again, has been met with huge disappointment from licensed victuallers around the country.
Flintoff, who has never fully recovered from the hangover he sustained during the 2005 Ashes series against Australia, was advised by Lancashire’s medical team to give it a few more days before taking his sunglasses off and exposing himself to daylight once again.
The news prompted fears that unless the hangover clears up in time, the former England captain might not make the final drinking squad when the team leaves for Australia in November.
It was hoped that with a fully fit Flintoff leading the celebrations in the England dressing room once again, breweries could forget any worries about a double-dip recession and look forward to a dramatic increase in trade with record sales triggered by the winter tour down under.
The FTSE 100 was quick to respond with shares in Marstons and Heineken reaching a record low, before rallying slightly on one of the worst days trading since Black Wednesday in 1992.
“It’s just a precaution,” Flintoff told reporters, “everybody knows I’ve picked up a few niggling hangovers over the last 12 months but this one’s nothing to worry about.”
“Unfortunately, once you’ve had a series of hangovers like I have, and you get to my age, it takes a while for the body to get over it.”
“I’ve done a few light pub lunches and thrown some extra barbecues at home. If there are no complications there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be back hitting the bars and night clubs for six towards the end of August.”
“Clearly my days of drinking solidly over five days are over, the knees are just not up to it any more, but I still feel I’ve got something to offer the team in the shorter versions of any drinking game.”
Experts have warned that Flintoff should focus on the shorter forms of drinking, in the hope of extending his career beyond this year.
One physio told us, “He can still hold his own in a session on Mad Dog Twenty20, but he just can’t hit the top shelf like he used to.”
If he can stay fit, Flintoff hopes to finish the season with a bumper payday having already signed up for the IPA league in India.
When asked if he meant he would be playing in the IPL league, a bemused Flintoff replied, “No, I’ve signed up for the IPA league…Indian Pale Ale.”
“They’re day/night matches, we’ve got 200 barrels to knock off before close of play or we have to come back and finish it off the next day. If that doesn’t keep me in the runs, then nothing will.”