Stuart Broad believes Andrew Flintoff will have big impact on England squad

Stuart Broad hailed Andrew Flintoff as a “legend of the game” whose temporary presence in England’s backroom ranks will have a motivational impact on the dressing room.

Flintoff is the only England player to do the double of amassing more than 400 runs and 20 wickets in an Ashes series, doing so during the seminal 2005 edition, where the Lancastrian became a national treasure.

Broad, who brought his record-breaking career to a finish after the drawn Ashes this summer, pointed out Flintoff would have been an inspirational figure to many within the contemporary England set-up.

The 45-year-old former England captain surprised many by joining the coaching staff in an unofficial, unpaid capacity for their ongoing four-match ODI series against New Zealand.

Andrew Flintoff is part of England's coaching staff in an unofficial, unpaid capacity (John Walton/PA)
Andrew Flintoff is part of England’s coaching staff in an unofficial, unpaid capacity (John Walton/PA)

“I think ultimately: look at the players in this side and it would have been Freddie that inspired them,” Broad said on Sky Sports.

“He is an icon and a legend of the game and just to spend some time with him and pick his brain, (there is an) aura that he has within the group.”

Flintoff remains a highly popular figure and has received a swell of support as he was pictured during Friday’s series-opening ODI in Cardiff, believed to be his first public appearance since suffering serious injuries after crashing his car during a stunt for the BBC’s Top Gear programme in December.

Broad had a brief conversation with his former England team-mate – the pair played 10 Tests together between 2008 and 2009 – at Sophia Gardens and feels Flintoff will feel the benefit of his short stint which is not expected to last beyond the end of this series.

Flintoff, left, and Stuart Broad played 10 Tests together (Anthony Devlin/PA)
Flintoff, left, and Stuart Broad played 10 Tests together (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Indeed Broad reckons Flintoff, whose international career comprised of 79 Tests, 141 ODIs and seven T20s, is a natural with the fielding drills he conducted in the Welsh capital.

“He’s great, I saw him at Cardiff and had 10 minutes with him, he was in really fine form,” Broad added.

“He has been doing some work with the England Under-19s which he really enjoyed. He’d just arrived in Cardiff to settle in with this group for this series.

“For him – I know it’s a training shirt – but the opportunity to pull on those Three Lions is really special and I actually saw him mitting (catching throws from) Mark Wood.

“I can’t imagine he’s done loads of mitting, he was really good at it – I don’t know why I am surprised but he was good at it. Certainly better than (England assistant coach David) Saker whose job it is to catch it!”