Flintoff launches tirade against Atherton

While the current England team exude gentlemanly courtesy and exemplary team spirit, the same can not be said for their predecessors. Former fast bowler Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff launched an astonishing attack on former England captain Michael Atherton.

Flintoff was exasperated by some of the remarks Atherton has made in his capacity as a sky commentator and Times journalist, particularly some of the criticisms Atherton has levelled at Alastair Cook. Speaking to an Evening Standard journalist at a Sky TV dinner, Flintoff let rip with the kind of fury he used to reserve for bowling at Australian batsmen.

"He's a pr**k," said Flintoff said of Atherton. "He's a f**king prick. He sits there making judgments about players that are much better than he ever was, believe me, he's a pr**k."

What are you trying to say here Andrew? "How can he talk about a player like Alastair Cook who is 10 times the player he ever was – he has a much bigger average and will go on and on. Atherton averaged in the 30s for England and yet he thinks he can judge others."

Flintoff has a point, although statistics mean that virtually every member of the present successful England side ranks well ahead of most of their predecessors. Asked if he would like to keep the remarks off the record, Flintoff was not bothered. "I don't care. Say what you like. There's no love lost there."

There has been no love lost since 2006, when Atherton wrote about Flintoff’s England captaincy ambitions: "I have never subscribed to the view that he is the man for the job."

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