Well Played Freddie!

16 09 2010

So finally Freddie has admitted what everyone else has known for some time and called it a day. In truth we, the fans and spectators around the world, knew when we saw the great man hobble off the field at the end of the 2009 Ashes that his time was up. Of course there were all sorts of promises and statements forthcoming, all brimming with positive intent, that once he’d recovered from his latest injury he would be back and available for England. Sadly though it wasn’t to be and now all that remains is to pay what tribute we can to a cricketer who has lit up English cricket over the past decade or so.

It is true that this ‘lighting up’ was more akin to a candle flickering in a breeze rather than an inexorable and bright electric light bulb, yet, this quibble aside, he was a brilliant player and truly up there with the best of his generation.  Statistics rarely tell the whole story and with Flintoff this was particularly the case. A batting average just shy of 32 and a bowling average just over the same figure are not a fair representation of his talents and by focusing on this you miss the very essence of the man. Like Broad in the current side, Flintoff was forced to learn his trade in the glare and publicity of the national team and so, inevitably, the end figures would be tarnished. Flintoff was more than just numbers though. What Flintoff brought to the team was an energy, a total commitment and the potential to perform, if not miracles, certainly the unexpected and it is for this, along with his innate humility and simplicity (meant in the politest way possible!) that we will miss him.

In short; not a consistently great player but a player capable of great deeds on occasions. For us there are one or two moments that stick in our memories and all, rather predictably, involve his bowling out of Australians. Foremost amongst these is the incredible over that he bowled in 2005 picking up the wickets of Justin Langer and Ricky Ponting. Rather than bore you anymore with further words and sentiments that will be very common over the next few days – here is that over in full.

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3 responses

17 09 2010
James Parrett

Twas the dwarf, Justin Langer, not Katich… Sorry, hungover.

17 09 2010
Bradders

Of course it was – Ponting bats 3 doesn’t he – should have been able to work that out! (Couldn’t be bothered to look it up you see…) Consider it changed.

18 09 2010
Dean @ Cricket Betting Blog

I think you summed it up pretty well.

I don’t believe that Freddie was a true great, but he was a good cricketer capable of truely great things, and he produced his best against the best sides, like in the 2005 Ashes.

There will be people with better averages than Fred, people who have hammered Bangladesh and West Indies, but have crap averages against the Aussies.

Flintoff did it when it mattered, not just taking easy pickings against Bangers and Windies. He was as good against the Aussies, as he was against anybody else, and that is the mark of a top class player.

In 2005 I don’t think that Ricky Ponting and his men really rated England ahead of the series, that all changed and Flintoff made Gilchrist look average, I don’t think that Gilchrist was the same player after that series.

They would probably never admit it, but Flintoff would have walked into their team after that and they would have loved to have a player like him, and that is as good a complement as you could get given the quality of that side.

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