Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff, 31, has announced his retirement from Test cricket in order to spend more time with his ale.
After an injury-plagued career, the talismanic all-rounder will now confine himself to games lasting less than two hours.
"It is starting to badly affect my drinking," Flintoff revealed to a hushed press conference at Lord's. "After a few days of a Test match, I am struggling to sup more than seven or eight Boddingtons in the bar afterwards. That can't be healthy for a growing lad like me."
'Freddie' was once viewed as the natural successor to Sir Ian Botham but, while his beer intake was comparable, failed to match his predecessor's penchant for extra-marital sex. In one notorious incident, during the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies, Flintoff commandeered a pedalo in a vain attempt to reach a yacht full of bikini-clad beauties, drifted hopelessly off course and was hijacked by Somali pirates. The ECB offered them an undisclosed sum of money to keep him prisoner for the duration of the competition, but he was freed by a passing naval frigate.
This followed distressing scenes at 10 Downing Street after the Ashes triumph of 2005, when 'Freddie', lubricated by several gallons of Dom Perignon, tried to show Cherie Blair the importance of "a good length" in the garden, and had to be ejected by the butler.
Former coach Duncan Fletcher was highly critical of Flintoff's fitness during a tour to Australia. "Frankly, he's getting too fat to duck," complained Fletcher during a torrid session at Perth, when his captain was peppered by short stuff.
"At least I'm going out on a high," said the amiable Lancastrian. "After sneaking an undeserved draw at Cardiff, we can only lose the series 0-4, which will be a massive improvement on the whitewash last time. I don't want to go on and on like that boring bastard Boycott."
With a batting average comparable to the great Monty Panesar, and a bowling record as good as Graham Gooch, 'Freddie' will be sorely missed by England fans and licensees worldwide.