Cricket: Freddie Should Opt for a Walk ..Not Runs; CRICKET: BOTHAM URGES FLINTOFF TO MISS INDIA TRIP

The Mirror (London, England), April 28, 2006 | Go to article overview
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Cricket: Freddie Should Opt for a Walk ..Not Runs; CRICKET: BOTHAM URGES FLINTOFF TO MISS INDIA TRIP


Byline: Mike WALTERS Cricket Correspondent

IAN BOTHAM has told Freddie Flintoff to forget about the tinpot Champions Trophy and instead warm up for the Ashes on his latest charity walk.

Bargain hunters filling the collection buckets will get two all-round legends for the price of one if Flintoff follows Beefy's advice to put his best foot forward for Leukaemia Research and the Teenage Cancer Trust instead of toeing the line.

England were beaten finalists when they staged the Champions Trophy two years ago, but in an overcrowded fixture schedule the competition is now as welcome among players as stripograms at a funeral parlour.

Voice of cricket Botham, who has already raised more than pounds 8 million and walked 6,500 miles on 11 charity treks, hopes Flintoff will join him on several legs of his latest footslog across 17 cities in nine days.

The Botham Walk 2006 in October overlaps with the Champions Trophy in India, where England have been handed a thankless draw against the host nation and Australia in Jaipur.

But Mirror columnist Beefy, whose route march begins in Belfast on October 9, believes Flintoff would be better served going for a crosscountry stroll than another curry-on in the subcontinent.

And Botham, who turned 50 last November but shows no sign of slowing down, hopes England will slap a preservation order on their greatest asset while they sort out their optimum XI to give Bruce Almighty another towelling.

He said: "It will do Freddie a lot more good to come and join me on the walk than going to the Champions Trophy, which has become a tournament where greed takes over from common sense.

"Why we have to stage a mini-World Cup only four months before the real thing is beyond me. If I was a player, I would be looking ahead to this summer and the Ashes - and not worrying too much about the Champions Trophy in between.

"The series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan this summer are massive for us because if we want to become the No.

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