Talking To Talk Sport, Flintoff recalled the hilarious sledging incident with Pakistani legend Shoaib Akhtar from a Test match between England and Pakistan in 2005. Flintoff stated that Akhtar kept calling him ‘fat’ which led to his response.
“Listen to this. I got feelings. He kept having a go at me. He kept calling me ‘fat.’ Fat this, fat that. I am not having this. I am thinking I am going to nip this in the b***. So, as I walked in, I said, Shoaib, it’s all right, you look like Tarzan, but you bowl like Jane,” Flintoff stated.
“It haunted me straight away. I walked out to bat. I think 1st or 2nd ball, my off-stump was cart-wheeling back as he knocked it over. Then, as I walked off, he gave me a big ‘OOOHHHH,'” he stated.
😡 “Akhtar kept calling me fat!”
😳 “As I walked out I said ‘Shoaib, you look like Tarzan but bowl like Jane’”
😫 “1st or 2nd ball my off stump was cartwheeling backwards & as I walked off he went ‘OOHHH!’”
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) April 8, 2020
Flintoff went on to play 79 Tests in which he scored 3,845 runs and picked 226 wickets, and 141 ODIs, in which he scored 3,394 runs and picked 169 wickets in his career. He last played for England in August 2009 in a Test match against Australia at The Oval.
Rawalpindi Express Shoaib Akhter played 46 Test matches for Pakistan, where he picked 178 wickets and in 163 ODI matches, claiming 247 wickets. He also played 15 T20I for Pakistan picking up 19 wickets.
Shoaib was among the most fearsome fast bowlers of his era.