Andrew Flintoff told Adil Rashid he “epitomises everything that England cricket is about” after presenting the leg-spinner with a cap to mark his 100th T20 international match.
Flintoff is continuing his ad hoc role as a team mentor for England in their five T20s against the West Indies and, ahead of the series opener, he spoke glowingly of Rashid before his landmark appearance.
In the team huddle before England’s four-wicket loss in Barbados, Flintoff recalled his first memories of a then 20-year-old Rashid when they were at opposite ends of their playing careers in late 2008.
Freddie just does not miss 🤌
Click below to watch @Flintoff11 deliver a special message to Adil Rashid ahead of his 100th IT20 cap 🥰
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) December 13, 2023
Rashid, now 35, has since gone on to establish himself as one of the finest white-ball bowlers of his era, helping England win both ODI and T20 World Cup trophies.
But Flintoff also shone a light on the work Rashid does away from the field, including mentoring the next generation at his academy in Yorkshire and the advice he doles out to spinners of all ages.
“I remember you coming into the side as this young lad, full of mystery, full of wonder, full of mischief and loads and loads of ability,” Flintoff said in a video released by www.ecb.co.uk.
“Over the years, everyone in this group: myself and anybody who’s played with you has been so proud at how you’ve gone about your business – a multiple World Cup winner, the best in the business at what you do around the world but more importantly, Rash, you as a person.
“You’re such an integral part of this squad and the other thing is you give back, whether it’s in Bradford with your academies (or) the other day I saw you spending all this time with a leg-spinner, a young kid, and just coaching him. To me that is just as important as everything else you do.
“To me, you epitomise everything that England cricket is about. It’s a privilege for me to tour with you, it’s a privilege for me to give you this cap.
“So Rash, come and get this cap, (it is) 100 but you’ve not stopped yet, there’s plenty more in you. Well done, son.”
During the English summer, Flintoff presented Tom Hartley with his maiden England cap, telling his fellow Lancastrian: “This will change your life forever.”
The ex-England captain also touched upon “the hardest time” of his life in his message to Hartley after a crash on the BBC show Top Gear in December last year that left him with facial and rib injuries.