London:Australian skipper Ricky Ponting feels Andrew Flintoff's sudden retirement announcement from Test cricket came as a good news for his side because it might act as a distraction for the hosts in the remainder of the Ashes series.
Ponting said Flintoff's final appearances in the longer version of the game could become "a bit of a circus".
"If he plays to the end of the series, I'm sure there will be some outside distractions for the England team to deal with," he said.
"Whether Andrew (Flintoff) wanted it that way or not, I've been in teams where it's happened in Australia, and it can be distracting, not only for the person involved but for the captain as well.
"Knowing the stature he has in the game in England, I can see it turning into a farewell tour. You can see that the fans here are very passionate about watching Andrew play, so if they know this is his last chance to play here - and then at Edgbaston and Headingley and so on - I'm sure there will be a bit of a circus around him," he added.
Comparing Flintoff's retirement to that of his predecessor Steve Waugh's, Ponting said although the Aussies tried their level best not to make the former skipper's final series a farewell tour, it eventually turned out to be so.
Just before the home series against India in 2003-04, Waugh announced his decision to quit cricket. As expected his retirement overshadowed the Test series, which the hosts somehow managed to draw 1-1.
"Maybe there is a comparison there. They are similar sort of figures in either side and in either country.
"We talked long and hard ... about making sure that it didn't turn into a farewell tour for Steve, but as hard as we tried, and as hard as he tried not to make it that way, it did become very heavily focused on everything that he did," Ponting was quoted as saying in the Daily Telegraph.