London: Andrew Flintoff, the former England allrounder, has launched a scathing attack on former England captain turned cricket analyst Mike Atherton, terming him a “f*****g p***k”.
Speaking to the London Evening Standard at the Sky TV party at The Oxo Tower on Tuesday night, Flintoff tore into Atherton for his recent comments on England’s ODI captain, Alastair Cook.
"He’s a f*****g p***k. He sits there making judgments about players that are much better than he ever was, believe me, he’s a p***k,” Flintoff was quoted as saying. “How can he talk about a player like Alastair Cook who is 10 times the player he ever was? Cook has a much bigger average and will go on and on. Atherton averaged in the 30s for England and yet he thinks he can judge others."
In the past, Atherton had been critical of Flintoff several times when the latter was plying his trade for England. In 2006, Atherton said that Flintoff is 'too nice' to be captain and blamed him for the defeat in the Trent Bridge Test against Sri Lanka. When Flintoff got injured after the Test, Atherton wrote in his column, "The only positive benefit of the injury to Flintoff may be the end of his immediate captaincy ambitions. I don’t subscribe to the view that England’s underperformance against Sri Lanka was entirely down to Flintoff’s captaincy but equally I have never subscribed to the view that he is the man for the job."
During the 2009 Ashes series, Atherton said before the Lord's Test that Flintoff was like a second-hand car and that England need not sweat too much on Flintoff's form and fitness. Atherton also refused to acknowledge Flintoff as a great player and opined that Flintoff, at best, was just a good cricketer.
"Like a second-hand car with plenty of miles on the clock, Flintoff's body has become unreliable. When you set off on a long journey, you are just not quite sure whether you will reach the destination. Let us move on from the past and from the notion that Flintoff is a talisman for the England team. Flintoff is a fine cricketer, who will and should play if fit, but his stamp is no longer - if it ever has been - a guarantee of success."
The animosity continues.