Freddie Flintoff is the hot favourite to be appointed as the new head coach of the Northern Superchargers in the Hundred, according to reports. The 45-year-old, who was involved in a horrifying crash while filming for Top Gear last December, was previously spotted in the England camp before their woeful Cricket World Cup exit and is said to be closing in on a paid return to the sport.
Flintoff was seen putting England’s fielders through their paces alongside other members of coaching staff back in September as he made his first public appearance since his near-fatal Top Gear crash. He sustained facial injuries and broken ribs when the car he was driving veered off the road at 130mph at Dunsfold Park Aerodrome last December.
It seems as though Flintoff is closing in on a new role with the Northern Superchargers, who are expected to appoint him as their head coach ahead of next year’s Hundred, according to The Times. The move would see Flintoff take up his first paid role in cricket since returning to the sport following his high-speed crash 11 months ago.
His role with the England team has reportedly been on an informal mentoring basis, rather than a formal contract, but his proposed move to the Superchargers will be on a part-time deal for the duration of the Hundred. He is set to replace outgoing head coach James Foster, who was not given a new contract after the men’s team finished bottom of the group last season.
The report adds that Flintoff’s appointment could be confirmed by the Superchargers later this week, with the short-term nature of the deal allowing him to continue his role with England. He has also been working with the under-19 team and the England Lions as of late through his close friendship with managing director Rob Key.
The former all-rounder is still expected to travel to the UAE with the Lions for a three-week training programme before joining up with England’s limited-overs team in the West Indies in December. There is also said to be a chance that Flintoff will spend some time with the Test side ahead of their five-match series against India in early 2024.
Flintoff retired from cricket in 2009 after a hugely successful career, during which he played 79 Tests and over 140 one-day matches for England. He joined the Top Gear presenting team in 2019, where he worked alongside fellow co-hosts Chris Harris and Paddy McGuinness prior to his terrifying crash.
The BBC quickly halted production after the incident, with the broadcasting giant confirming in a statement that a decision is yet to be made on whether to continue filming. His teenage son Corey previously claimed that Flintoff was lucky to be alive, with the whole family being left ‘shocked’ after he was airlifted to hospital with a number of serious injuries.
“He’s okay, I’m not too sure what happened but he is lucky to be alive,” Corey told the Daily Mail. “It was a pretty nasty crash. It is shocking, we are all shocked but just hope he’s going to be OK.”