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Former players hail Flintoff

cricket Updated: Jul 17, 2009 00:53 IST
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Former England players and coaches on Thursday hailed Andrew Flintoff as one of the greatest players of his generation, a day after he announced his retirement.

Bowling great Ian Botham said Flintoff showed he was the one of the greatest all-rounders in 2005 when England defeated Australia to regain the Ashes for the first time in 18 years.

“Throughout the summer he was the leader of the pack and was able to do almost anything he wanted on a cricket field,” Botham wrote in the Daily Mirror. “His batting, bowling and fielding were in perfect harmony,” he said.

But he said Flintoff’s decision to walk away from Test cricket at the end of the Ashes was unsurprising.

Michael Vaughan said Flintoff caused him to have more management meetings than anybody else during his time as England captain.

“But the match turning, series-winning performances that he put in more than outweighed the odd difficulty he caused,” Vaughan wrote in the Daily Telegraph.

Flintoff was dropped from the England team during the 2007 World Cup for staying out late drinking and riding a pedalo in the early hours.

Ex-England coach Duncan Fletcher wrote in the Guardian that Flintoff’s injuries after 2005 meant he plateaued as a force at the international level.