Cricket stepped in to save Freddie Flintoff as recovery plan emerges

Jason Manford discusses Freddie Flintoff after Top Gear accident

Freddie Flintoff is reportedly expected to make a full-time return to the world of cricket as he continues to recover from his high-speed crash while filming for Top Gear last December. The 45-year-old sustained facial injuries and broken ribs when the car he was driving veered off the road at 130mph at Dunsfold Park Aerodrome in Surrey.

The BBC halted production of Top Gear after Flintoff’s brutal crash, with the broadcasting giant confirming in a statement that a decision will be made later this year on whether to continue filming. He later stepped down from his presenting duties on the show and has since flirted with the idea of returning to his cricket roots by joining England’s camp for their one-day series against New Zealand.

Flintoff has been spotted leading training drills while sporting a number of visible scars and cuts on his face, while he has also been wearing a strip of tape across his nose. He has been keeping a low profile during his time with England and is yet to give any interviews, although that could soon change if his plan falls into place.

The 45-year-old is planning to make a full-time return to cricket, according to the Daily Mail, with his current involvement seen as the first ‘baby steps’ in achieving that goal. His time in the England camp is said to have gone down well and he has been viewed as a valued member of the coaching team over the course of the series.

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A source close to the England dressing room is quoted as saying: “He has so much to offer and it was a no-brainer to get him involved. These players grew up watching him. He has had his ups and downs in the game but he relates to everyone and that’s important in coaching.

“There’s no reason why this cannot be the start of something. If Fred wants to carry on working in cricket, why not? There are so many issues to settle first, but there is no doubt cricket is the thing he loves most.”

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England’s players have also been grateful for Flintoff’s presence on a day-to-day basis, with bowler Reece Topley adding: “Freddie has been really good for me this week, he’s a massive character and an idol of mine and the things he’s said to me have really resonated.

“He had serious injuries and his career was cut short and there’s a lot for me to relate to. Some of his offerings have been poignant and I’m just grateful to have him around. He’s having a real impact here and that speaks volumes for him as a bloke. It’s been exciting and I’m just hoping this isn’t the only time he’ll be with us.”

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