Freddie finds his soft spot
He tormented the Australian cricket team during England’s Ashes victory of 2005, but the Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff on Nine’s Australian Ninja Warrior is a changed man.
Swapping thunderous bouncers for man hugs, the 39-year-old admits he has “mellowed” since retiring from his international Test career seven years ago.
“I think that aggressive side is gone,” Ninja’s touchy-feely sideline eye says. “When I stopped playing, two years later I still wanted to be a cricketer and still wanted to play. Now I wouldn’t say I’ve got soft, but I’ve mellowed a hell of a lot.”
His Lancashire accent might see some viewers struggle to understand the former England captain, but there’s no denying his enthusiasm for the series.
But watching others take on the physical challenge of Ninja’s obstacle course was enough for Flintoff, who wasn’t tempted to join them in action.
“My shirt is firmly on, the abs are just popping out,” he jokes, “[but] you look at [the course] and you start working out how you’d tackle it.”
Flintoff signed on for the series which his own children hildren — daughter Ho Holly, y, 12,, and sons Corey, y, 11, and Rocky, 9 — cite ass a favourite program to o watch.
“Whenn I told the kids there was a chance I’d d be doing it, they weree like ‘yeah, go do it’. What at they found in England was that families lies would sit around and nd watch it together, , and there’s veryery few shows ws you can do that.”
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