The 45 year-old was seen with visible scars to his face and tape on his nose during England’s ODI clash against New Zealand in Cardiff on Friday, with whom he is working with in an unpaid consultancy role.
So, what exactly happened to Flintoff? Here is everything we know about his Top Gear accident which turned his dream into a nightmare.
What happened to Freddie Flintoff?
Flintoff’s crash took place on December 13, 2022 at Dunsfold Park aerodrome in Surrey, which has been the Top Gear test track since 2002.
He was driving an open-topped three-wheel Morgan Super 3 at 130 mph when it flipped and slid along the track during filming.
Flintoff, who was wearing a helmet at the time of the incident along with a crew member in the passenger seat, was airlifted to hospital and suffered multiple facial injuries and broken ribs – but not before having to wait 45 minutes for the helicopter to arrive.
Flintoff’s injuries were described at the time as being non-life threatening, but his son Corey said he was ‘lucky to be alive.’
A source told The Times: ‘Freddie has been seriously emotionally and physically affected by the crash. He is a daredevil, that’s what he does, and he doesn’t feel like he is able to continue to play that role on the show.’
As a consequence of the incident, production of series 34 of Top Gear was halted, with the BBC then confirming in March that filming would not resume at all.
The broadcaster said in a statement: ‘Under the circumstances, we feel it would be inappropriate to resume making series 34.
‘We have sincerely apologised to Freddie and will continue to support him with his recovery.
‘We understand this [halting production] will be disappointing for fans, but it is the right thing to do, and we’ll make a judgement about how best to continue later this year.’
The BBC has also said there will be a health and safety review on the motoring show.
It was not the first time Flintoff had been involved in a shunt whilst filming for Top Gear, having lost control of his motorised trike at 125mph whilst racing McGuinness and Harris in 2019.
What has been said about Freddie Flintoff’s England return?
England white ball captain Jos Buttler was delighted to have Flintoff’s experience in camp for the New Zealand series, which serves as vital preparation for next month’s ODI World Cup in India where the team will look to defend their title.
‘He’s obviously an England legend and it’s just nice to have him around the group,’ the England skipper said.
‘He’s not been brought in with any specific role, just to be around and observe.
‘A few of the lads can pick his brains a little bit and he’s settled in really well. It’s great to have him with us. Just for this series.’
Flintoff’s former teammate and close friend Kevin Pietersen took to X (Twitter) where he simply wrote: ‘Freddie BACK!!!!’ accompanied by six heart emojis.
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