Flintoff brought cricket back to life: Lloyd

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London:Calling him a ''people's champion and a special lad'', former England coach David Lloyd said Andrew Flintoff deserves all the credit for bringing the dormant English cricket back to life through his ''natural talent and charisma.''

''Flintoff deserves all the accolades and the perks coming his way and, after bowling nearly 70 overs in the last Test, he is entitled to his downtime between matches,'' the former coach told 'Daily Mirror.'' ''Tactically and as a statesman, he is heading in the right direction. I can't foresee England taking the captaincy off him unless Vaughan comes back because he's the people's champion and a really special lad,'' Lloyd added.

Lloyd said he found it strange that the disappointing draw against Sri Lanka was being blamed on Flintoff, who had put in a massive effort by bowling 70 overs during the match.

''The only thing England did wrong at Lord's was we simply couldn't catch the bloody ball. How was that his fault?'' he said.

Lloyd said the best way to utilise Flintoff's exceptional abilities was to make him captain the side only in the absence of regular skipper Michael Vaughan.

''The way he grabbed hold of the team in India was tremendous - you don't normally come back from 1-0 down in a three-match series out there,'' he said, referring to Flintoff's contribution in turning around the fortunes on the English team during its tour of India.

''We should enjoy him while we can and, in return, we should let him enjoy himself away from the game,'' Lloyd said.

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