Cricket is full of improbable coincidences. Two of England's most explosive all-rounders failed to meet expectations with the bat at the World Cup. Their records in the main tournament are very similar. Despite their reputations as imposing hitters, incisive pacers, and brilliant catchers, Ian Botham and Andrew Flintoff showed best with the ball in cricket's premier event, and even then, only sporadically.
Statistics-wise, Flintoff is almost a duplicate of Botham. These two giants aren't among the top all-rounders in the World Cup since they have yet to do much with the bat. Andrew Flintoff debut match was a memorable moment in cricket history.
It was always assumed that Flintoff would replace Botham. He's as big, if not bigger than the legendary Somerset great. His humongous frame was the subject of jokes, and some even wondered if we'd see another Botham in our lifetimes. Andrew Flintoff's dismal performances at the 1999 World Cup merely added fuel to the fire of his critics. The big person had yet to become a global player.
Over time, Andrew Flintoff found his footing. He had already achieved widespread fame by 2003. After he opted out of playing against Zimbabwe, he was run out for nought in a routine encounter against Holland. He bowled ten overs against Namibia's slow bowlers, scored 21, and took two wickets for 33 runs.
Their first real match was against Pakistan, and they scored 42 runs for the sixth wicket in 10 overs. He ended up with 26. Shoaib Akhtar, Pakistan's big-hitting leading scorer, had his stumps broken by Flintoff, and Younis Khan was caught by Alec Stewart behind the wickets as the Pakistani batting crumbled. Flintoff went for nine overs and returned with two wickets and 37 runs allowed. By a score of 112 runs, England triumphed.
When the going got tough, Andrew Flintoff stepped up with a superb performance. Indian batsmen Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag got the team off to a roaring start, but after ten overs, with the score at 60 for 2, Flintoff struck. In 10 overs, he allowed only 15 runs and had two no-balls, easily his best performance of the tournament. After being nine down, India scored 250 runs.
Even with the help of the floodlights, England's batting was harmless. When Flintoff came in, the score was 62-5 in the 19th over, and left-arm bowler Ashish Nehra was on fire. With batsman Andy Caddick, he shared in a ninth-wicket stand of 55 runs. Flintoff's final score of 64 was his highest in a World Cup match. In his 73 balls faced, he had struck five fours and three sixes. England were quickly bowled out for 168.
When the going got tough, Flintoff stepped up with a superb performance. Andrew Flintoff age is 45. Thanks to Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag, India got off to a quick start. In a bowling match against himself, he caught Sehwag. With help from Sourav Ganguly, Tendulkar kept the momentum flowing, but the maestro was bowled out for 50 by Flintoff.
England's situation could have been better. The lack of brilliance or heroics from Andrew Flintoff was rather satisfying. There was still something missing despite his cheap cost runs and wickets.
Just how fast was Andrew Flintoff?
While some reports claimed the incident occurred at 130 mph, this estimate has been questioned.
Why is Andrew Flintoff being called Freddie?
Because of the similarities between his name and Fred from The Flintstones, he went by the moniker "Freddie" in Lancashire.
Do you think Flintoff was an efficient batsman?
Flintoff was an excellent all-around player because of his ability to bowl fast, bat in the middle, and field in the slips. As an all-rounder in one-day internationals and tests, he was consistently rated well by the ICC.