New Delhi, July 15 (IANS) Former India captain Sourav Ganguly, who shared a love-hate relationship with Andrew Flintoff, said that the all-rounder’s retirement from Test cricket will be a big loss for England.
“It’s a big loss for England. I always said England needed to balance his (Flintoff) bowling with his batting if they wanted him to survive longer in Test cricket. With England, every time they are under pressure, it is Freddie with the ball because he is their best bowler,” Sourav was quoted as saying in the English media.
On Flintoff’s injuries, Sourav said: “He’s a big boy and injuries are part and parcel of sport, but there are other fast bowlers around the world who are running in and keep playing and doing well in Test matches. I think it’s more about Freddie Flintoff’s body than the rigours of international cricket.”
The duo’s relationship has been a talking point in international cricket.
During Sourav’s county stint with Lancashire, Flintoff sarcastically commented that having the Indian in the team “was like having ‘Prince Charles’ on your side.”
Both the players also indulged in waving shirts while celebrating victory. Flintoff surprised everyone by taking off his shirt in wild celebration after England defeated India in Mumbai to level the one-day series 3-3 in 2002.
Few months later, Sourav took the revenge in a similar celebration on the Lord’s balcony after India pulled off the second highest run chase in one-day history to win the Natwest Trophy.
The 31-year-old Flintoff Wednesday, on the eve of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s, announced his retirement from Test cricket after aggravating the injury on his right knee, which was operated upon recently. He aggravated his knee injury while bowling in the first Test at Cardiff and Monday took some injections as a desperate measure to get fit for the second Test.
Since making his Test debut at the age of 20, Flintoff has been struggling with his persistent back, hip and groin problems and also underwent four ankle surgeries.