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Brit Rama set to beat 'Dravidian army'

English media compared Flintoff to Lord Rama and said he deserved to be "celebrated" for his godly virtues.

india Updated: Mar 18, 2006 20:49 IST

An overzealous English media on Friday compared Andrew Flintoff to none other than Lord Rama and said the dashing cricketer deserved to be "celebrated" for his godly virtues.

A report in prestigious daily 'The Times' said though Flintoff was not, "despite superficial resemblances", the earthly form of a God but he was the nearest England had got to Rama and was doing a pretty good job.

It said 'Freddie' was "addressing the world yesterday in preparation for the longest and hardest test, or Test, of his career," referring to the final match between India and England that begins in Mumbai on Saturday.

Admitting that the comparison was not exact, it noted that Rama gave up his kingdom and his authority on a point of honour, while Flintoff has assumed authority and taken up captaincy on a point of honour.

"Both willingly accepted exile: Rama 14 years in the forest, Flintoff 14 extra days in India. But Rama had his loving and beloved wife, Sita, with him in exile; Flintoff's loving and beloved Rachel is back in England, having just given birth to their second child."

"Flintoff, then, must be celebrated - though perhaps not worshipped - for his honour, his sacrifice, his good cheer, Hare Freddie, hare Freddie, Freddie Freddie, hare hare, if I may say so without giving offence," wrote Simon Barnes.

"But now, for the hero of the 'Freddieyana', there is one final battle before he can fly home, no doubt with the aid of the great friend of Rama's father, 'Jetayu' the eagle."

It would be a great and well-deserved homecoming from the exile for Flintoff, the newspaper said.

As for the battle, it said it would take some serious heroism from most of the team if England were to level the series.

"The tasks looks impossible; but then the impossible was what Rama did best. We will see how Flintoff copes. Oh great one, you are born to restore righteousness and virtue to mankind and eliminate all evil, as the poet said. Tough job, Freddie, but someone's got to do it."

First Published: Mar 17, 2006 18:36 IST