Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

One-Day Star Flintoff on Top of the World

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

One-Day Star Flintoff on Top of the World

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID LLOYD

ANDREW FLINTOFF'S transformation from inconsistent underachiever in to one of the world's finest cricketers was complete last night when he won the one-day player of the year prize at the International Cricket Council's inaugural awards ceremony.

The Lancashire all-rounder, who became a father for the first time in the early hours of Monday morning, rounded off an excellent summer for himself and the England team to claim the prize.

In a glittering ceremony at Alexandra Palace, Flintoff also came joint second, with South Africa's Jacques Kallis, in the overall player of the year category for an outstanding year in both forms of the game.

Prolific Indian batsman Rahu l Dravid took the award, named after Sir Garfield Sobers, after receiving 62 votes from a panel of the current internat ional captains, umpires, match referees and former players, ahead of Flintoff and Jacques Kallis (both 44).

But Flintoff deservedly claimed the one-day prize after taking five man- of- the- match awards during the qualifying period which ran from August 2003 to the end of this July.

The 26-year-old admitted: "The best day of my life was on Monday when Rachel gave birth to little Holly - she came a bit out of the blue because we were expecting her next month, but this week seems to be getting better and better.

"I wouldn't have believed it if someone had said three years ago that I would be getting an award like this and beating players of this stature. I'm going through a purple patch in my life and my cricket and I'm just enjoying it at the moment. I've had some bad times when things have gone wrong for me, but this makes up for it."

Typically, the self-effacing Flintoff praised the contribution of his England team-mates. "My job's made easier by the class players in the side.

We're really just 11 mates who go out and play, and enjoy each other's company, and each other's successes," he said. …

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