There’s one man who hasn’t yet featured in our flashback series and, well, shame on us. Freddie Flintoff has been at the very centre of a number of England’s finest hours over the years, and it’s about time that we gave one of them our attention.
Once again, we’re tying things in nicely with England’s upcoming Test series against the West Indies; this time, it’s Freddie’s highest-ever score under the microscope. In that typical swashbuckling style of his, Big Fred clubbed the Windies’ attack all over Birmingham. He notched seven sixes and 17 fours on his way to an imperious 167, helping England to a comfortable 256-run victory.
Everything about this set of highlights evokes memories of a special era for England cricket. The commentators, the advertising hoardings, and that iconic Woodworm bat were all still there a year later for the incredible Ashes series of 2005. To continue the similarities, just take a look at that lofted straight drive at around the six-minute mark. Ring any bells?
On a slight side note, fans of the IPL are in for a treat here. A younger Dwayne Bravo eventually gets the better of Flintoff with a rather familiar-looking slower delivery. If anything, it just hammers home the destructive nature of Freddie’s innings even more; it took the bane of the modern IPL star to remove him years before slower balls were such a central part of the game.
We could take you back to a great many more Flintoff-heavy highlights, but this particular montage stands alone for sheer brutality. Freddie was able to bully opposition players on his day with both bat and ball, and there are few finer examples of that ability than this Test match. Just as the West Indies dismissed Marcus Trescothick, England’s other centurion on that occasion, the momentum was snatched back from them by Preston’s finest.
Sit back, relax, and watch a blonde-haired Andrew Flintoff launch some into the Edgbaston crowd. Cricket’s getting closer, everyone…