Warne – Look out for FlintoffRichard Edmunds |
Although it could be seen as stating the somewhat obvious, Shane Warne has labelled Andrew Flintoff as the key player in the upcoming Ashes series and has warned his team-mates of the possible danger of not giving him due respect ahead of what is going to be one of the most eagerly anticipated series in years.
In recent years it has been a tradition for Australian players to name their ‘target’ for upcoming series – players whose wickets they put particular importance on if it is a batsman and who they aim to knock off their lines and lengths in terms of bowlers. But this is a slightly different one, as while Warne has named Flintoff as the key player, he has said that such treatment from Australians could “inspire” Flintoff and he could feed off that pressure. And not only that, but being an “inspirational” player, Flintoff tends to lift the team in the process.
Warne made the comments at the launch of his new book My Illustrated Career, a pictorial record of the great spinner’s career to date. Sporting a large cut above his eye from an injury while batting for Hampshire earlier in the week, Warne said the injury had left him feeling drowsy and with a headache, but it didn’t stop him attending the launch or receiving an honourary Doctorate from Solent University in Hampshire on Wednesday, his 37th birthday.