Former Lancashire and England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff believes Ashes cricket can return to Old Trafford in 2013.

Flintoff strongly supported proposals for the ground’s redevelopment, which were given the go-ahead.

He told said: “The club are very ambitious about getting Ashes cricket back at Old Trafford.

“We’re taking the right steps towards doing that in a state-of-the-art stadium.”

The venue was sold out for England’s win against Sri Lanka in Saturday’s one-day series decider.

And it is now set to undergo a £32m regeneration with the hope of bringing Test cricket back to the North West.

“I think it’s exciting,” Flintoff continued. “It dragged and dragged, and we would sooner be further down the line, but one of the things the club has realised is that the ground is tired, it needs redeveloping, and we’re at that point now.

“To have over 19,000 at a ground which is under major redevelopment is an effort in itself, and the India one-day international later in the summer is a sell-out already which shows the enthusiasm for cricket in this area of the country.

“In 2005 the third Ashes test at Old Trafford there was 20,000 locked out of the ground – everyone wants to watch cricket in this area.”