The ‘tormentor’ is now on our team and that’s just how we like it, writes Helen Goltz.

Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff has not made it easy for Australian cricketers in past Ashes battles, but this time, he’s on the right side!

After five years lay-off with knee injuries, Flintoff comes to the Brisbane Heat raring to go and as a veteran of 79 tests and 141 one-day internationals, he’s just what the Heat ordered.

It’s no surprise that the all-rounder and right-hand bowler says the team to beat this season is Brisbane. “Of course I have to say Brisbane!” Flintoff says. “I think we have a great chance. With 20/20 anyone can beat anyone on the day, that’s what is so great about the competition.”

Flintoff is no stranger to Brisbane Heat coach and former teammate Stuart Law. “He knows me as a player and a person, I have huge respect for him,” Flintoff says. “Stuart and I have had a few conversations and I’m clear on what we’re looking to achieve in the competition.

“I’m looking forward to meeting my teammates and playing in front of a home crowd.”

One only has to watch the international games to know there’s no sport like cricket for raising the passion and ire of a nation and Flintoff agrees that what he looks forward to most is playing “in England or playing in front of a home crowd wherever that may be.”

He is keen to add that still on his bucket list is “winning more trophies with Brisbane and Lancashire.”

Young team members of the Heat will have the opportunity to watch and learn from the experienced Flintoff. He made his first class debut in 1995, his Test match debut in 1998 versus South Africa and his One Day International debut in 1999 against Pakistan. He made his biggest impact for England in the summer of 2005, when he played a major role in regaining the Ashes
from Australia, earning the nickname the ‘tormentor’.

Aside from practicing at the nets, Flintoff has been doing some other practice. “Fair dinkum!” he says. Yeah, keep working on that one for us Freddie!

Catch the Brisbane Heat’s homegames at the Gabba on:

• 28 December vs Melbourne Stars
• 4 January vs Adelaide Strikers
• 11 January vs Sydney 6ers
• 15 January vs Hobart Hurricanes

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