Andrew Flintoff is a professional English cricketer who plays for the Lancashire county and for the England national team. He is a right-handed all-rounder and one of the finest fielders in the world.
‘Freddie’ or ‘Fred’ as he is nicknamed for the similarity of his name with Fred Flintstone is a hard hitting batsman with a dominant bottom hand. His fitness has always been a burning issue in the media but when he has been on song with his bowling he has hit the pitch consistently at around 90mph.
Flintoff was the captain of the England Under-19 team for their Test match tour to Pakistan in 1996-97 and at home against Zimbabwe in 1997. In the year 2000 he hit 135 runs not out in the Quarter-finals of the Natwest Trophy. In the same year England’s management made clear that they were unhappy with his fitness and weight, Flintoff responded to his critics with 42 runs not out in a one day game against Zimbabwe on his home ground at Old Trafford, gaining an explosive second wicket stand with Graeme Hick. He collected the Man of the Match award for his outstanding performance.
In the summers of 2003 he scored a century and three fifties in the 5 Test series against South Africa at home, and continued to excel on the tour of the West Indies in March and April 2004, taking five wickets in the Test in Barbados, and scoring a century in Antigua.
In February 2006, following England captain Michael Vaughan and vice-captain Marcus Trescothick becoming unavailable for the first Test match against India, Flintoff was named captain of the England team. Flintoff was seen as a great success during the drawn series with India, with a 212-run victory in Mumbai. He was also named as the player of the series. Flintoff scored four fifties in the series, and took 11 wickets. Flintoff continued to captain England during the seven ODIs in India, although he was rested for two matches.
In the 2007 international season as a preparation for the West Indies tour of England he played a couple of games with Lancashire. However as his ankle was injured he was not considered for the first Test that began on 17 May 2007. On 21 August 2007 in the first One day International against India Flintoff bowled 7 overs and finished with figures of 1 for 12 while England won the match by 104 runs. In the second One day International he scored eventful 9 runs but injured his knee and could not take part in the third One day International which England won by 42 runs. England won the series 4-3 in a 7 wicket victory but Flintoff was unlikely that he would play again in 2008 because of continuous injuries and eventually on 7th September 2009 after a surgery on his knee Flintoff developed deep vein thrombosis. He had to announce his retirement forcibly from International Cricket on 16th September 2009. .
Flintoff again returned to the cricket arena by getting picked up at the IPL auctions by the Chennai Super Kings and becoming the highest paid cricketer ever in any of the Cricket tournaments till date. However, he still wasn’t able to cope up with the injuries as he developed another injury in his elbow and had to sit out the whole IPL season.
- In One day International Flintoff has taken 169 wickets and is the second highest wicket taker for England. Also he has scored 3394 runs in one dayers and has become the 9th highest run scorer for England.
- Flintoff holds the record for the most sixes scored for England.
- Awarded Wisden Cricketer of the year 2004
- Awarded ICC Player of the Year 2005