The Heavy Ball

This, that and the other. Mostly the other

What Freddie did next

And why it's going to be the only news you'll want to read over the next few months

Daniel Norcross

Comments: 3 | Text size: A | A
Andrew Flintoff spruces up before hitting the ramp for Naomi Campbell's Fashion For Relief - Haiti, London, February 18, 2010
Annoyed by Jimmy Anderson's stranglehold on the mascara endorsements market, Fred vowed to set things right © Getty Images
Related Links
Players/Officials: Andrew Flintoff
Teams: England

It is a fact universally acknowledged that a cricket news editor in possession of a press release from English national treasure, world cricketing legend and holder-of-misleading-statistics-that-never-truly-reflected-the-genius-of-the man, Freddie Flintoff, never lacks for a front-page headline.

And so it was that on 16 September this year, the climax to an astounding English County Championship season got buried in sports pages around the cricketing world beneath the shocking and totally unexpected news that "our Fred" was hanging up his boots.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm as fascinated as the next man to discover that honest, salt-of-the earth Fred was looking forward keenly to whiling away his retirement soaking up Player One Sports' exciting new, branded mobile phone content in his down-to-earth but uniquely luxurious apartment, expertly crafted by Dubai-based, British-owned property developers First Group, whilst munching on a can of Red Bull. Who wouldn't be?

But just in case you have any interest in the cricket that's scheduled over the coming year, here are some stories to look out for that might, quite understandably, get relegated behind updates about the first retired cricketer in the history of the game to have all the good qualities of every last cricket fan in England, along with the occasional match-winning performance on his CV.

On 13 October this year cricket fans worldwide will be agog at news that thanks to his new Puma Orthopedex 9000s, Flintoff has never had such soft feet. On the same day a passably diverting final Test between India and Australia featuring a decent but not particularly noteworthy 312 from VVS Laxman, out of a total 401, will end in a turgid one-wicket victory for Australia off the final delivery, when Billy Bowden will signal no-ball after consultation with the non-striking Australian batsman.

On 6 January next year Fred will captivate the hearts and minds of sports editors from Barbados to Brisbane with details of the massive 7.1% annual returns on his tax-free investments through Barclays Capital; easily outperforming the market average using BC's innovative and revolutionary financial logarithms. On the same day a minor Test series between two middle-ranking sides will end in Sydney in a 2-2 draw after Graeme Swann's mediocre spell of 8 for 12 secures a humdrum victory for the English by one run to retain the Ashes, or whatever they're called.

And on 2 April next year the big fella will reveal just how important a role the stay-fresh, anti-perspirant, stain-free goodness of Sure's new Sport for Men range has played in helping him keep his cool in his adopted Dubai home. Later that day, obscure non-entity Sachin Tendulkar will score a scrappy double-century in front of 95,000 Indians in his hometown to ease his side to victory off the final ball of the World Cup final in wholly predictable fashion against sort-of rivals Pakistan.

Which reminds me: I'm gonna skip commentary on the second Test. I've just heard from Fred that Shell's new microtech lube engine oil is a must have for every car lover, and I want to give the old banger a test drive.

Daniel Norcross is a founder of and commentator on Test Match Sofa, the alternative cricket commentary. All quotes and "facts" in this article are made up (but you knew that already, didn't you?)

Tell us what you think. Send us your feedback

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Comments: 3 
. Your ESPN name '' will be used to display your comments. Please click here to edit this.
Comments have now been closed for this article

Posted by Brian on (October 10, 2010, 17:34 GMT)

Funny I suppose if you like your irony with lashings of envy and spite. I don't.

Posted by Dummy4 on (October 9, 2010, 21:01 GMT)

Absolutely hilarious! You should really think about moving TMS' HQ to Dubai for the obvious tax benefits! Hoping to read more of the same in the near future!

Posted by Dummy4 on (October 9, 2010, 12:16 GMT)

Very funny and, sadly, has more than a small kernel of truth

Email this page to a friend Email Feedback Feedback Print Print
More in The Heavy Ball
RSS FeedAll
  • ESPN
  • ESPNF1
  • Scrum
  • Soccernet