I’ve long had a deep affection for Andrew Flintoff, who takes turns being a romantic Australia-slayer and an affectionately flawed drunkard. For all his epic feats, he still resonates as a human figure, struggling to break from the pack. He took years to actually pull away and dominate batting line-ups, and since the Ashes, when he finally did, his personality’s complex strands — the fragility of his physical capabilities; his drinking habits; his immeasurable raw talent — have twisted even more. Like I said, it’s fairly compelling stuff.
His free-ranging interview about his recuperation, then, makes for a gripping read, especially when Flintoff admits, I think, to chucking, so as to compensate for that devilish ankle:
“Also in my thinking was the possibility that I just might not get another chance to take part in this kind of tournament again. In the event I was pretty much bowling on one leg, relying on my shoulder and maybe even a bent arm at times and the realisation grew in me that, if this was as good as it was going to get, it wasn’t enough.”
A bent arm? Is it wrong that I feel even more defensive about Flintoff than before?