Freddie Flintoff in Harpenden

Big-hitter Andrew Flintoff shares tactics with young cricketers

CRICKET great Andrew Flintoff turned coach for a few lucky future batsmen and bowlers in Harpenden today when he surprised youngsters taking part in summer holiday cricket lessons.

Just two days before England plays its second test against India, the big-hitter joined in a noisy game with about 16 children at the Andrew Flintoff Cricket Academy at St George’s School.

The youngsters were thrilled at having a sporting hero in their midst, throwing questions at him quicker than a fast bowler.

Their queries ranged from the obvious, “is that your bat,” to a philosophical discussion over whether wasps were worse than bees.

Another lad warned the others crowding around Freddie: “Nobody mob him.”

One informed a nearby boy: “He is not normal, he is famous.”

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Discussion then turned to elements of the game as the under-10s quizzed Freddie, who is now retired from cricket, on shots and tactics.

Then the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2005 went to bat, which was a relief to one boy who said to Freddie: “You are probably going to bowl us out.”

One big hit later, they youngsters began chanting, “Freddie, Freddie, Freddie,” before one said to him: “Thank you for coming today.”

• The second test, England V India, is from July 29 until August 2, with some commentators saying England could overtake India as the number one Test-playing nation. England lead the series 1-0 after a 196-run victory in the first Test at Lord’s.