AND are ready to embark on a decade of unrivalled dominance as Test cricket’s leading force, according to former skipper Andrew Flintoff.
Following their win over India at Lord’s England will look to further advance the prospect of replacing the tourists at No1 in the ICC rankings when the second Test begins at Trent Bridge today.
Flintoff, who may still have been representing his country had injury not forced him to retire in September, believes the group of players under Strauss’s (far right) command have the chance to create a lasting dynasty.
“I think this team should be aiming now for the next 10 years to dominate like the West Indies and Australia have done in the past,” he told City A.M.
“It seems to work in cycles and hopefully now it’s England’s turn to rule. I can’t remember a squad of England players being so strong in every single department and there’s competition everywhere you look.”
Flintoff was the key member of the 2005 Ashes winning side, whose heroics captivated the nation. The queues that formed outside Lord’s on Monday evoked memories from six years ago when 20,000 people were turned away from the last day of the Old Trafford Test.
And Flintoff believes England fans are right to be proud of a team he rates as superior to the ones he featured in.
He said: “This is a better side than 2005. The only thing being I don’t think they’ve got anyone as good to play against.
“But you can only beat what is put in front of you. We blew India away and I think it’ll be the same again.”
Flintoff, 33, will appear alongside some of his old team-mates, including Marcus Trescothick, in October as part of Titans Of Cricket, a new event that tests players in a series of bowling, batting and fielding contests.
The Lancastrian describes the concept as a “cross between cricket and Gladiators” and added: “I thought about the prospect of playing in front of 15,000 fans and thought ‘I’ll have some of that’. Hopefully it can have a similar impact to Twenty20 and attract new young fans to cricket.”
FLINTOFF’S BACK IN ACTION
Freddie is appearing at Titans of Cricket at The O2 on 8 October, the MEN Arena, Manchester, on 2 October and the NIA, Birmingham, on 5 October. For more information and tickets go to www.titansofcricket.com or 0844 8442121