Flintoff savours 'special moment'
Andrew Flintoff bowed out of Test cricket on a high - and claimed winning the Ashes made all the pain and suffering with injuries worthwhile.
England triumphed by 197 runs at the Brit Oval to seal a 2-1 series win over Australia, providing a perfect send-off for Flintoff in his final Test.
Forced to call time on his Test career due to a catalogue of injuries, Flintoff could not hide his delight as he basked in the glow of England’s thrilling triumph.
“All the injuries and operations - it’s for moments like this. What a way to go,” he said.
“It’s a real special moment. a special day in the Flintoff household, and I’m sure a special day in a lot of people’s households.
“If someone said at the start when I was 21 stone that I would win two Ashes I’d have snapped their hand off. It’s been a real team effort and I’m just happy to be a part of it.”
Flintoff led the England celebrations after they won the Ashes at the same ground in 2005, but he claimed he would tone done his partying tonight.
“I’ve not had quite as much to drink yet,” joked Flintoff, who will undergo knee surgery on Tuesday. It’s quite surreal, almost like a dream.
“This one’s going to take a while to sink in. It’s an amazing feeling. At the moment I don’t know what to do with myself.
“I’m going to celebrate, probably not in the same style as 2005. I’ll take the missus out for dinner and then spend the day with my family tomorrow.”
Stuart Broad collected the man-of-the-match award for his crucial first-innings haul of 5-37, allied to contributions of 37 and 29 with the bat.
He is widely regarded as the player most capable of filling Flintoff’s shoes, he received a ringing endorsement from the man himself.
“What a Test for Stuart Broad,” said Flintoff. “I think once I’ve gone, they’re not going to be missing me. They seem to have found someone far better.”
Flintoff, who will continue to play one-day and Twenty20 international cricket, added: “There is the drive there and plenty of ambition.
“I’d like to perform well in a World Cup and win the competition. But I’ll miss days like this.”