England’s 2005 Ashes hero Andrew Flintoff says he holds hopes of one day coaching the national side, earmarking that he will apply for the position when it becomes vacant in 2019.
Current England coach Trevor Bayliss is set to step down from his post at the conclusion of Australia’s Ashes tour of England and Wales in 2019, with Flintoff putting his hand up for the role.
"I’m talking with my heart, yes (I’ll apply), I want to do it one day … if they want me to do it, I’ll do it," Flintoff said on his podcast Flintoff, Savage and The Ping Pong Guy.
An application from the inaugural Compton-Miller Medallist next year would be the second time he has thrown his hat in the ring for the top job, revealing he also applied when Peter Moores was re-appointed in 2014.
"We spoke about it and I was serious, but I had to think if I’d be better than the person they’re choosing," he said.
"I knew I wouldn’t be better than Peter Moores, so after a half an hour conversation I withdrew, but also said if Moores doesn’t get it, put me back in the hat."
Flintoff’s application was washed over initially, with a clerical error very nearly denying the allrounder an initial interview.
"I thought you can bang on about it and put players down, or actually do something about it, so I thought that I would have a crack at this, I wrote an email, three weeks past and no reply.
"(I found out) the ECB thought it wasn’t me despite me having one email all my life."
Flintoff, who has been a strong advocate for mental health since retiring from international cricket in 2009, said he would emphasise the mental side of the game rather than a heavy focus on skills.
"A coach’s job now is to get players feeling the best they can be to perform, as a coach or mentor, that’d be my greatest asset," he said.
"When I look back now, I should’ve spent more time on my head, I spent all the time in the gym and practicing, but I should’ve spent more time focussing on my mind."
The 79-Test veteran was impressed by Australia’s recent showing in the Magellan Ashes Series, highlighting the efforts of the home side’s bowling quartet, who each claimed more than 20 wickets in the successful campaign.
"As a rounded unit they’ve got now are the best they’ve had," Flintoff said.
"You’ve got (Mitchell) Starc who bowls fast left-arm. (Josh) Hazlewood surprised me so much, he was the fastest of the lot of them, he was bowling at 150kph. You had (Pat) Cummins who I didn’t think was good, who was good. Then you had the spinner (Nathan) Lyon, so as an attack it’s as good as you’ll face.
"The one bloke who epitomised it for me was Hazlewood, I watched him charge in spell after spell like his life depended on it, compared to England’s bowlers who looked like they were lobbing in."
Flintoff didn’t hold back in his assessment on the series and the outcomes for the both sides, highlighting the similarities between the current sides and teams of the past.
"For the first time in a long time, Australia have become Australia again, they were ruthless.
"England have gone back to England, back to the way they were in the 1990s, soft."
2017-18 International Fixtures
Gillette ODI Series v England
Australia ODI squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Cameron White, Adam Zampa.
England ODI squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
First ODI England won by five wickets at the MCG.
Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Tickets
Third ODI SCG, January 21. Tickets
Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Tickets
Fifth ODI Perth Stadium, January 28. Tickets
Prime Minister's XI
PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Tickets
Gillette T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series
England T20 squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, David Willey, Mark Wood.
First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Tickets
Second T20I Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Tickets
Third T20I Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Tickets
Fourth T20I NZ v England, Wellington, February 14
Fifth T20I NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16
Sixth T20I NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18
Final TBC, Eden Park, February 21