Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Flintoff's Show Worth the Wait

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Flintoff's Show Worth the Wait

Article excerpt


IT is a safe bet that Andrew Flintoff will not race around Lord's tomorrow with his shirt off like a footballer who has just scored the winning World Cup goal.

But if Flintoff can continue to thrill English cricket fans, as he did several times last winter and again at Trent Bridge yesterday evening, then most people won't worry too much how he celebrates.

Flintof f ' s bare- chested charge across the Mumbai outfield is a special memory from England's tour of India.

He had taken the wicket that not only secured a victory for Nasser Hussain's side but also sealed their fightback from 3-1 down to 3-3 in a six-match oneday series - and he reacted with a display of sheer joy.

A repeat performance at Lord's would not, one suspects, go down too well in certain quarters. But it is terrific to see Flintoff fully fit and punching his now carefully controlled weight, with bat and ball, on a more regular basis.

He was man of the match in Nottingham yesterday after playing a big part in England's 44-run win over Sri Lanka and India will fear him tomorrow when the NatWest triangular tournament moves to London.

Every sport needs its heroes and Flintoff has what it takes to become one.

He's big, but no longer too big after learning that regular exercise and counting calories could do him a power of good.

His eyes shine when he talks about what it means to be part of the England set-up.

And, above all of course, the 24-year-old Lancastrian has the talent to excite spectators - to bring them to their feet and keep them there.

Flintoff did just that yesterday with an unbeaten innings of 50 that powered England to their untouchable total of 293 for six. There were important contributions from every batsman and the fifth wicket stand of 95 between Alec Stewart and Ronnie Irani deserved - and received from captain Hussain - special praise. …

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