ANDREW Flintoff has come out of retirement to join Lancashire Lightning’s squad for their NatWest T20 Blast campaign this season.

The Lancashire and England legend returns to action after a five-year absence from the game to join Glen Chapple’s men as they aim to get to Finals Day at Edgbaston in August.

The Preston-born all-rounder made his Lancashire debut in 1995 and went on to represent England in 79 Tests, 141 one-day internationals and seven Twenty20 games. He made 80 first-class appearances for the Red Rose, scoring 4,042 runs at 35.14 and taking 92 wickets at 29.16.

He played 16 T20 games for Lightning, averaging 13.94 with the ball and 29.64 with the bat, with a high score of 93 against Derbyshire in 2009.

LCCC cricket director Mike Watkinson said: “We are delighted to have Fred involved once again at the club. He is Lancashire through and through and his record for both club and country speaks for itself.

“Fred has been back at Emirates Old Trafford under his own steam since the winter and has been working with the Academy and in the nets with some of the other players.

"Over a period of time he has picked up on his physical conditioning and this continues to improve. He has shown in practice that he still has plenty of class with bat and ball, and will be a great addition to the NatWest T20 Blast squad.”

Flintoff added: “I’m really honoured to be part of Lancashire once again.

"It is something that I never thought would happen but after training with the squad over the last few months I am really happy that they have invited me to play.

"I have worked really hard to get back to my fittest and I hope that we have a successful summer. I’m just glad that I can be part of it.”

Lancashire Lightning are in NatWest T20 Blast action at Emirates Old Trafford tonight when they take on Birmingham Bears (6.30pm). They then entertain their Roses rivals Yorkshire Vikings at Emirates Old Trafford on Friday, June 6.