Sunday, May 20, 2007

Flintoff is turning into Tufnell: entertainers in English cricket

Why don't England drop Flintoff? Look at the record - he doesn't score many runs on average, he doesn't take many wickets per match, he isn't terribly economical (per wicket).

He unbalances the side because he should be batting number seven, not six, yet his ankle isn't strong enough for England to rely on him bowling a full quota as one of just four frontline bowlers.

But - he is an entertainer, people like to watch him play - and in the end that's what cricket is about.

England are now quite a fun side, with three entertainers: not just Freddie, but Peterson and Panesar too. This is great. For many years we had the solo entertainer of Darren Gough (and he missed a lot of matches through injury) - and some rather marginal figures such as Phil Tufnell.

Sadly Flintoff is turning into Tufnell - good on his day, great to watch, but not quite up to test standard.

Because entertainers are only entertaining when they are also playing well. Otherwise they don't get picked: or shouldn't.