Freddie Flintoff has moving message for England cricket star in emotional moment

Freddie Flintoff enjoyed an emotional moment with England's Tom Hartley as he handed the cricket ace his first cap for his country.

England take on Ireland in the second ODI of their three-match series on Saturday (September 23) with the XI consisting of four debutants in Sam Hain, Jamie Smith, Tom Hartley and George Scrimshaw. While the first ODI between the countries was called off due to wet weather, the second provided a special occasion for the four players who were given their first England cap.

Hartley, 24, who plays for Lancashire, received his cap from Flintoff, a fellow Lancastrian and the pair shared an emotional moment where the 45-year-old told him: "This will change your life forever." Flintoff, a former captain of the national team, enjoyed an illustrious 11-year career with his country and recently returned to act as a mentor for the team.

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Fellow former England players Marcus Trescothick, Mark Butcher and Dominic Cork were on hand to give out the caps to the other debutants. While the ODI is certainly currently the focus of England, there's no doubt that attention is on the World Cup in India next week where they take on New Zealand in their first game on October 5 as they look to retain their title from the 2019 edition of the tournament.

Flintoff retired from the sport in 2015 and went on to become a TV personality and presenter with much success as in 2018, he became one of the hosts of Top Gear, alongside Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris. However, he suffered a horror crash in December 2022 where his open-topped Morgan Super 3 flipped over and slid on a track while he was travelling at 130mph.

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While not much else has been released by the BBC about the specifics of Flintoff's crash, Top Gear's first Stig Perry McCarthy has taken aim at the BBC and asked them to share details of the accident.

"Freddie's background is a sportsman, he's highly competitive, but it is not driving," said the former masked man during a recent appearance on GB News.

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"And sometimes I feel that maybe there's a bit of a need to contain the enthusiasm to protect enthusiastic and talented drivers like Freddie or talented personalities like Freddie from themselves.

"So everything's conjecture at the moment. And that's what I'm critical of is why don't we know exactly what has happened?"

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