Andrew Flintoff surprised Stuart Broad with his ‘really good’ mitting during England session… as pundit insists legend would have ‘inspired’ England’s current crop of players
- Andrew Flintoff has returned to the fold with the England Cricket Team
- He has taken on a new role, nine months after his crash on BBC show Top Gear
- Stuart Broad says Flintoff would have inspired the current crop of England stars
Stuart Broad insists Andrew Flintoff will have inspired England’s current crop of players, after the cricket legend returned to the game.
The former international cricketer has been pictured in recent days for the first time since his horrific crash on BBC Show Top Gear.
Flintoff suffered broken ribs and facial injuries – which are still visible to this day – in the life threatening accident which took place on December 13.
He was first seen on Friday in his new role with England’s cricket team, and ahead of their ODI with New Zealand today, Broad praised the impact that Flintoff will have on the current core of players.
He said: ‘I saw him at Cardiff and I had 10 minutes with him. He was in really fine form.
Stuart Broad has labelled Andrew Flintoff as a ‘legend of the game’ after his return to England’s cricket set-up
Broad said Flintoff would have inspired England’s current crop of players (seen joking with Chris Woakes and Mark Wood)
Broad was seen speaking to Flintoff in Cardiff on Friday ahead of the first ODI against New Zealand
‘He’s been doing some work with the England Under-19s which he really enjoyed and he’d just arrived in Cardiff to settle into this group for this series.
‘Freddie Flintoff would have inspired this side back in ’05 and before so he’s an icon of English cricket and a legend of the game, so just to be able to spend some time around him and pick his brain and feel the aura he has within the group.
‘The opportunity for him, I know it is a training shirt, but to pull on the Three Lions shirt again is really special.’
Flintoff in 2005 famously helped England come from behind to win the Ashes – and was named as the ‘Man of the Series’.
Broad also noted something that surprised him about Flintoff’s return to the game.
He said: ‘I actually saw him mitting to Mark Wood (catching a fast delivery with a baseball glove) and I can’t imagine he’s done loads of mitting, but he was good, he was really good!
‘I don’t know why I said that surprisingly because he’s a legend of English cricket so he’s obviously got decent hand-eye co-ordination, but he was good. Certainly better than (fast bowling coach) David Saker whose job it is to catch it.’
Flintoff was seen getting involved in the warm-up before the ODI against New Zealand.
He was in a jovial mood as he was seen signing autographs for fans and sharing a joke with the likes of Chris Woakes and Mark Wood.
Ahead of his return to work, Flintoff received encouragement from England managing director Rob Key and spent time working with the England Under-19 team.
Broad (right) said Flintoff was in ‘fine form’ when he spoke to him back in Cardiff on Friday
Flintoff’s horror crash sports car was not fitted with air bags it emerged after the smash
Flintoff was driving an open-topped three-wheel organ Super 3 car for Top Gear in December last year when the vehicle flipped
One of the great all-rounders, Flintoff was an iconic symbol of the 2005 Ashes-winning side
It is uncertain whether Flintoff will resume his television career after the accident which left him badly injured and caused him to spend five weeks in hospital.
But it now looks certain that he will instead explore coaching and mentoring opportunities in the game that made his name.
The father-of-four was ‘lucky to be alive’ when his open-topped three-wheel Morgan Super 3 which didn’t have air bags flipped over. He had to wait 45 minutes for an air ambulance to arrive.
Filming on Top Gear was suspended while Flintoff recovered from his injuries and investigations took place, with reports the former professional cricketer was putting his TV career on hold.
In the aftermath of the crash Flintoff’s wife Rachael repeatedly begged him to stay off work.
This may well have influenced his decision to return to cricket rather than taking part in dangerous stunts.
Flintoff has four children with Rachael – Holly, Corey, Rocky and Preston.
Flintoff is one of the great all-rounders of the English game and was an iconic symbol of the famous side that won the Ashes in 2005.
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