Why Andrew Flintoff was a great cricketer

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Andrew Flintoff’s only going to retire the once, so we’ve written about him again.

A lot of people have picked apart his career with the recent past at the forefront of their minds, but we’re choosing to look at why he became such a significant figure in the first place.

People talk about charisma and how Flintoff could turn a match and they say he was popular with the crowds because he played like an enthusiastic village cricketer. These people aren’t missing the point exactly, but these are tired observations and they don’t fully explain his significance to a certain generation of England fans.

Was Flintoff a great player? If you could weight performances according to when you really, really gave a shit what happened, Flintoff’s averages would be a damn sight better than they actually are. We don’t watch cricket for averages.

The font size is quite small in that article, but if you do the old ctrl-and-scroll, you can make it bigger and more web friendly.


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  1. Some say his global warmth was debated at Kyoto, even the Americans were scared to speak against him. And his ability to navigate the treacherous nightime waters of the caribbean in a pedalo made their Navy SEALS to look like the pups we know there really are. All we know is he’s called the STIG!

  2. Not often you get a Thomas Aquinas allusion in Wisden. (actually, that may not be true).

    Good work, KC.

  3. We wondered if anyone would spot that, because we didn’t spot it while we were writing the piece – or indeed afterwards.

  4. Who says Flintoff bowled and batted “like one of us”? I bowl crappy inaccurate offies and either legside knurdle or miss.

  5. ” After a lull while England’s opening bowlers plugged away to no great effect, Flintoff returned with the ball and a switch was flicked.”

    The corresponding passage from Aquinas’s Summa Theologica being “If not that which was or was not that which was, being that which being (causa sui) can be or be without that which isn’t, Flintoff returned with the ball and a switch was flick’d.”

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