August 24, 1995
Duck on debut
June 21, 1998
Nudging the selectors
Hits 61 off 24 balls at Old Trafford
, including 34 off an Alex Tudor over, to help Lancashire chase 250 set by Surrey. The teams have scored 146 and 151 in the first innings. This innings comes a fortnight before the Old Trafford Test against South Africa, and Wasim Akram, the Lancashire captain, says Flintoff would already be playing Tests had he been born in Pakistan.
July 23, 1998
On Test debut
against South Africa at Trent Bridge, claims Jacques Kallis
July 13, 2000
The fatter, the better
After consistent criticism about his weight, hits 42 not out against Zimbabwe in a low-scoring ODI
at Old Trafford to win Man of the Match. Says the famous line afterwards, "Not bad for a fat lad."
Welcome Flintoff the bowler
Is called up from the Academy squad to bolster the Test team in India, and plays all three Tests. Struggles with the bat, but is a revelation with the ball.
Returns to India post Christmas for the one-day series. Wins England a close series-leveller
with a tight final over, and runs around the Wankede Stadium with his shirt off.
March 15, 2002
Test century, finally
In his 13th Test, crosses 50 for the first time, and makes sure it's a big one. Hits 163-ball 137 in the second innings of the Christchurch Test
is overshadowed by Graham Thorpe, though, who scores 200 in 231 balls.
One of many to come
Picks up a hernia, which forces him to miss the final Test at The Oval against India, and the Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka. Travels to Australia for the Ashes series, but is clearly unfit and doesn't play any Test.
Winner in a losing cause
In the World Cup in South Africa, bowls 48.4 overs for 140 runs and seven wickets, but England go out in the first round.
With team-mates like these ...
Is hit on the shoulder by Sajid Mahmood, during a Lancashire net session, and is unable to bowl for the first part of the season. Misses Tests against Zimbabwe. Returns to England action in the NatWest Challenge against Pakistan, and is a big help for Michael Vaughan in his first two one-day tournaments as captain. Bowls 28 overs for 91 runs and five wickets
Consistent in the big-time
Makes 142 off 146 balls in the second innings of the second Test
against South Africa, breaking his bat in the process, but England lose by an innings and 92 runs. Makes 95 at The Oval
to help England level the series.
Season before the storm
Plays a key role with 11 wickets at 29 as England win 3-0 in West Indies. Scores a century in the final Test
, but the limelight in that match clearly belongs to Brian Lara for his 400.
In England's clean sweep of all home Tests, scores 603 runs and takes 24 wickets. Is the Man of the Series for the four-Test series against West Indies.
Injury, the old friend
Misses the one-day series in South Africa with an ankle injury.
Is England's driving force as they regain the Ashes after 16 years. Scores 402 runs at 40.20, and takes 24 wickets at 27.29 to win the Man-of-the-Series award, and also the Compton-Miller medal.
A month later, is named the ICC Cricketer of the Year alongside Jacques Kallis, and plays in the ICC Super Series against Australia.
Leader of men
Is named England captain for Tests and ODIs in India after Vaughan and Marcus Trescothick are forced home. Helps England come from 0-1 down to level the series with victory in Mumbai
Injury haunts again
Continues as England captain against Sri Lanka at home, but picks up an ankle injury in the third Test and misses rest of the summer. Recovers from injury in September, and is named captain for Champions Trophy and Ashes series.
Ash to ash
Loses Ashes series 0-5, but after a brief return by Vaughan is back in the captaincy hot seat for the latter part of the CB Series. Out of nowhere England win the finals 2-0.
Is stripped of the vice-captaincy after a drunken night out following England's defeat against New Zealand in St Lucia, which cumulates in falling off a pedalo.
Ankle injury is here to stay
Picks up another ankle injury before the series against West Indies, and undergoes further surgery that rules him out of most of the season.
Returns to action in the one-day series against India, taking a career-best 5 for 56 in the second match
Back to sidelines
Picks up a side strain in a county game, and is ruled out of the Test series against New Zealand.
July 31, 2008
Freddie's back (again)...
Having endured another will-he-won't-he fitness race at the start of the 2008 home summer, Flintoff returned in time for the second Test against South Africa and produced a herculean spell in the third at Edgbaston
. Many felt that Flintoff had lost a competitive edge since the 2005 Ashes, but when Aleem Dar wrongly denied him an lbw against Jacques Kallis, he was fired back to his inspiring best. Flintoff won a memorable contest
by uprooting Kallis's off stump in his next over, but South Africa won the match and series to end Michael Vaughan's captaincy reign.
February 15, 2009
Nought, nought and time for a break
Having picked up a hip injury Flintoff was bowling through immense pain at St John's
against the West Indies. In the way that characterised most of his career sheer hard work and guts still drove him to three first-innings wickets, but the grimaces were alarming. Restricted movement didn't help an already wooden batting style and he recorded a pair and limped out of the Test series.
April 3, 2009
Having returned from injury two games before Flintoff demonstrated his force as a limited-over bowler by ripping out five West Indian batsmen for 19 runs in the fifth game in St Lucia
. Having dealt with the top order he returned to pick up Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul and Sulieman Benn in successive deliveries to seal England the series and his first hat-trick. It remains his last one-day international Flintoff played for England.
April 10, 2009
His ODI hat-trick a week before was certainly well timed because come the IPL auction, Flintoff became, along with England team-mate, Kevin Pietersen, the joint most-expensive player in the world. He signed for the Chennai Super Kings for US$1.55 million
April to May 2009
Much was expected of Flintoff when the IPL got underway in South Africa but he failed to live-up to his pre-tournament billing. He played just three games before tearing the meniscus in his right knee and flying home. During his three appearances, his normally water-tight bowling was dispatched to all corners and he arrived home facing an army of critics who questioned the choice to play IPL cricket months before a crucial Ashes series.
July 15, 2009
Having been forced under the knife, Flintoff missed the first half of the English season, but with the Ashes in sight, he hauled himself up for a final fling against the Aussies. Like the rest of his team he was whole-hearted but ineffectual at Cardiff and with his body rebelling once more he gathered the word's media to announce he would retire from Test cricket
at the end of the series. It prompted the start of a summer-long leaving tour and the announcement split opinion, with many arguing it would distract from England's cause.
July 20, 2009
Final hurrah at Lords
The decision proved an inspiration as Flintoff, freed from the responsibility of looking after his fragile body, flew into the Aussies at Lord's
. In front of an emotional and charged crowd his second-innings 5 for 92 set aside any pretensions of an Aussie run chase and earned him a place on the hallowed Lord's honours board.
August 23, 2000
Runs out Pointing in his final Test
With his body ravaged, Flintoff's unrivalled presence was all he had left to offer England come the final Test at The Oval
. As young pretender Stuart Broad ran amok to set England up, Flintoff found a way for a final fling. Ricky Pointing and Michael Hussey had calmly compiled a 127-run stand, and England fans were beginning to get twitchy. When Hussey pushed a single to the crocked Flintoff at wide mid-on, no one had banked on Flintoff swooping and hurling a rocket-throw to uproot the off stump at the strikers end with Ponting still short of his ground. It was a fine way to seal another Ashes triumph and end an epic Test career.