Andrew Flintoff – do England need him?

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A heartfelt appeal from Andrew FlintoffWe wrote a post about whether England needed Andrew Flintoff, but we’ve deleted it.

The gist was:
Bifidus digestivum: do we need it? Companies with ‘solutions’ in their name: do we need them? Andrew Flintoff: do we need him?

After watching him clatter helmets, wedge in yorkers and shatter stumps all morning, the question seems redundant. On top form, Test cricket needs Andrew Flintoff, let alone just England. How was this only his third five wicket haul?

But he is going at the end of this Ashes series. Andrew Flintoff’s celebrations say he’s not one of us any more. Where once he was joyously uninhibited, now there’s self-aware posing. So maybe the time’s right. He’s still a hero though and no amount of posturing will take the gloss of that.

Taking five wickets to win Ashes Tests can’t do his reputation any harm, either.


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  1. I am glad he has the whole series for his swan song and so pleased to have seen him live in some terrific moments.

    We watched him break his bat at Lords making his pb score and had to duck a good few screamers that he sent into the stands.

    Definitely much more that the sum of the parts or of the stats.

  2. It is a real shame for world cricket that he will no longer be playing Test cricket. Will the ICC look at this example of a worn out all rounder/fast bolwer and realise that there is just too much international cricket? Probably not.
    Fans want to see the best players and FAST bowlers playing at 100%.
    Better quality cricket spread out over more years.
    Less is more,
    End of serious rant. Back to the highlights again….

  3. Really think he’s taking the piss out of himself as hero O KIng and getting you all Englishly embarrassed and demanding self-depreciation at all times – especially those of triumph

  4. Nah, he used to get too caught up in the moment to do summat like that.

    Besides, post-modernism has no place in live sport.

  5. great player and all, but his celebrations and general attitude was a bit OTT on monday – posing and hugging all the players and even the umpires.

    he’s not god, he’s just a good bowler, and he didn’t win the match on his own.

    just thought that needed saying.

    having said it though, what a player. we’re really going to miss him.

  6. I think the reason that he is bowling so well is that he knows he is going. He doesn’t have to worry about his body so much, he can just flog himself into the ground one last time and then not worry about long matches anymore.

    It is great that he got the fivefor, even as an Oz fan, if dodgy decisions have to happen, I can’t think of a better use of them than to a Freddy fivefor as he has so few of them and far less than his bowling skill deserves.

    Though Katich and Hughes probably don’t feel that way.

  7. I feel he looks like a prat as well with those celebrations.

    Odd thing is though, I don’t think Afridi does with his stand and point to the sky celebrations. I suppose the difference is that I think Afridi is slightly bonkers.

  8. first time to the blog, and i love it…

    that said, i don’t think i will ever understand the english. i mean, flintoff bowled like a god today. considering that over the past two decades, england has had as many god-like fast bowlers as bangladesh has credible test victories, i can’t for the life of me understand how the debate merely hours after his mythical performance is about his celebrations. really? you think broad or anderson or onions will ever give you something like this?

    i was also going to make the afridi comparision like lou above me, but in my opinion both are absolutely brilliant. i guess we pakistanis love the showmen, and flintoff is certainly one of those. even if he is not doing the postmodernist take on his own persona, i still love the celebration. its what fast bowling is all about. swagger and showmanship.

    RIP Freddie.

  9. I was there, folks. I was there.

    Clearly Freddie is motivated by writing his own script in this way and frankly who are we to try and stop him.

    When he got to about his 7th or 8th over and things seemed to be going less his way for a while, some whingers behind us were suggesting that the captain should take Fred off. Fred was on 4fer at the time.

    “Why don’t you go down there and wrestle that ball from his hand”, I suggested.

    “He’s bigger than me”, came the feeble reply.

    “He’s bigger than Straussy too”, I responded.

  10. I dont get it why the celebrations are OTT. Are we saying there are prescribed ways for celebrating, and proscribed ones?
    Something in me will die the day it is mandated that all players should celebrate the Strauss way.

  11. Well that’s just it, Raj. We like to see players celebrating naturally and feel like Flintoff’s celebrations are more conscious and deliberate.

    These days, it seems Flintoff’s celebrations are less about the wicket he’s just taken and more about Flintoff.

  12. Hi Karachikhatmal,

    You probably need to understand that Flintoff is more than just a fast bowler to most England fans and it’s not all to do with the performances.

    Flintoff was (maybe still is) ‘one of us’.

    We were going to elaborate on what that means, but it probably warrants a bigger space and a bit more thought.

  13. I love Flintoff..hez not at all arrogant…he waz just expressing his elation as it was his last match in Lord’s. Home of Cricket…therefore his gestures after taking wickets was understandable…hez reeli charming…nd i;ll reli miss him but hope 2 see him in one days nd 20 20….

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