Ben Stokes reveals Andrew Flintoff “loved every minute” when he joined up with the England cricket team during their one day international series against New Zealand.
Flintoff was Stokes’ hero growing up when he starred in the historic 2005 Ashes series win, and is considered by many to be the greatest of all time. But having gone into TV, the 45-year-old returned to cricket after suffering a horrific crash filming Top Gear last December, leaving him with severe facial injuries.
Since returning to cricket, Flintoff has been spending time with the squad, and has continued to help out throughout the New Zealand and Ireland series.
“After his cricket career, Freddie’s personality was perfect for TV,” Stokes told The Telegraph.
“But then you see him make a comeback, and you can picture him being involved as a full-time coach. He loved every minute of it. He said that he was in awe of what he was witnessing. Every day he spent with us, he grew more confident within himself.”
The crash happened in December 2022, when Flintoff was driving a three-wheeled open-top car which flipped over.
ECB managing director Rob Key was reportedly heavily involved in encouraging Flintoff back into the fold, with the two having been friends almost two decades ago when representing the national side.
Stokes has another big challenge ahead of him when he returns to ODI cricket – despite having retired from the sport in 2022 – to bolster England’s chances at the Cricket World Cup.
England go into the tournament among the favourites having lifted the trophy in memorable fashion against New Zealand at Lord’s five years ago.