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'Full Time Coach': Ben Stokes Advocates For Andrew Flintoff Before World Cup 2023

image-lmx39hvsFlintoff interacting with Bairstow (X.com)

England men's Test team captain Ben Stokes has revealed that 2005 Ashes hero Andrew Flintoff thoroughly enjoyed his time with the England white-ball team during their recent four-match ODI series against New Zealand.

Flintoff, widely regarded as one of the best all-rounders of his era, had suffered severe facial injuries while filming for the BBC show Top Gear at the Top Gear Test Track in Surrey in December 2022. This unfortunate accident led to his absence from cricket. The BBC Studios issued an apology to Flintoff and committed to supporting his recovery.

Since his return to cricket, Flintoff has been actively engaged with the squad, providing valuable insights and assistance during the recently concluded New Zealand series and the ongoing Ireland series.

Stokes expressed his belief that Flintoff could transition into a full-time coaching role after the ODI series between England and New Zealand. He noted how Flintoff relished every moment spent with the team during his time there and saw potential in him as a coach.

"After his cricket career, Freddie’s personality was perfect for TV. But then you see him make a comeback, and you can picture him being involved as a full-time coach. He loved every minute of it. He said that he was in awe of what he was witnessing. Every day he spent with us, he grew more confident within himself," Stokes told The Telegraph.

While the specific role Flintoff played in the backroom staff was not detailed, he was brought in to observe and share his extensive cricket experience. His presence allowed players to seek his guidance and benefit from his expertise, and he integrated well into the team despite the absence of a defined role.

England secured a 3-1 victory in the four-match ODI series against New Zealand, with Stokes himself delivering a stellar performance by scoring 182 runs in the third ODI – the highest score by an England batter in the 50-over format.

Currently, Flintoff is accompanying the one-day team for the third ODI of the ongoing three-match series. Stokes' positive remarks about Flintoff's impact on the players suggest a strong possibility that he may join the World Cup squad traveling to India for the global event scheduled to commence on October 5, with England facing New Zealand in the opening match.