16/07/2009

The Flintoff ‘distraction’

Flintoff’s 4 Tests long good-bye will undoubtedly prove a distraction; the question is which team will be more distracted.

Logically, the English team will suffer the most.

Firstly, Flintoff’s fitness is uncertain and the media is sure to play it up at the start of each Test match. This could prove a distraction for the player who replaces him. Even if he is informed well in advance, the hysteria surrounding Flintoff is sure to make him feel as if he is a stand in.

Secondly, even if Flintoff is rested, every smirk of his will be analysed by the cameras hovering around the pavilion. Considering the importance of the Ashes series, there will be many ‘what if’s’.

There is also the small matter of how his teammates feel about him being the center of attraction. So logically, the English are in real danger of being distracted. However, one cannot rule out the possibility of the Australian’s experiencing the distraction.

The Australian’s will surely chaff under similar burden and if they are not on their guard, they may be swept away by the groundswell of affection surging around the stadium for Flintoff.

Each time Flintoff appears or touches the ball, a frisson is sure to run among the spectators and that could overwhelm the less experienced Australians.

The danger is so real that even Ponting has warned his teammates and asked them to steel themselves against it.

To the reader: Which team will succumb to the Flintoff ‘distraction”?

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