For England all rounder Andrew Flintoff, the Ashes is a pretty special time, as his incredible performance in the 2005 and 2009 contests contributed a huge amount towards making him the national treasure he is today. Although this year it’s the turn of the new English talent to take the game to the Australians, no cricket fan is ever likely to forget the impact Freddie made on the game.
From his debut in 1998, Freddie has been there at some of the most crucial moments for the England team and has had the honour of being both captain and vice captain of the squad. Like any sportsman he’s had his ups and downs, but with quintessential British guts he has overcome injury and speculation over form to earn his place as one of the all time England great.
Freddie retired at the end of the 2009 Ashes series, but his achievements remain inspiration to aspiring cricketers all over the country. With 168 wickets he was the third highest English wicket-taker in one-day international cricket and holds the record for the most sixes scored for England. Freddie took the title of 9th highest English run-scorer in one-day internationals and is only the seventh cricketer to have batted all five days of a Test.
Then there have been his efforts and achievements relating specifically to the Ashes. In 2005, in the Second Test, despite an early shoulder injury, he still managed to take the wickets of Ponting and Langer, as well as five others, and captain Michael Vaughan dubbed the test ‘Fred’s Test’ because of his achievements. He also scored a century during the crucial victory at Trent Bridge and was named ‘Man of the Series’ by Australian coach, John Buchanan. Freddie also proved himself to be a true sportsman during the 2005 Ashes, something which is demonstrated by a photograph of his shaking the hand of a defeated looking Brett Lee, consoling him in defeat. During the 2009 Ashes, despite injury, Freddie was similarly impressive, making both the Lords Honours Boards during the Second Test and running out Australian captain Ricky Ponting in the final game of the series.
With such a stellar career and so many incredible memories it’s not surprising that Andrew Flintoff is looking to inspire the next generation of cricketers with his summer and sports activity camps. His Activate Sport Cricket Academy has one aim and that’s to pass on the difference cricket made to his life. As he said himself ‘Cricket has given me so much, and I want to pass on my passion of the game to as many youngsters as I can.’