Flintoff~~s bat saved from Aussie burning

Published: Sunday, November 13, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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London:England hero Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff's bat was saved at an auction from the clutches of a bitter Australian determined to burn it to ashes.

All-rounder Flintoff was named man of the series after England won the Ashes against old enemy Australia in September for the first time in 18 years.

The custom-made signed bat was one of few to survive some big-hitting Flintoff performances at the crease.

Wealthy British businessman Nick Robinson made a last-ditch 22,000-pound (32,670-euro, 38,340-dollar) bid to save Flintoff's bat from falling into the hands of Australian Darryn Lyons.

The paparazzi boss, presumably a touch upset at England's Flintoff-inspired victory, had threatened to take it back Down Under and torch it to cinders.

The charity auction at the BBC's west London headquarters for their Children in Need appeal also saw four places for children to attend the opening of England football captain David Beckham's new soccer academy go for 15,000 pounds.

The auction was to be screened Sunday.

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