| GEO Sports|
| Ex English cricketers hail retiring Flintoff|
| Updated at: 1147 PST, Thursday, July 16, 2009|
LONDON: Former England players and coaches hailed Andrew Flintoff as one of the greatest players of his generation, a day after he announced his retirement.
Flintoff, 31, cited the strain of constantly coming back from injury as he announced he was quitting Test cricket.
Bowling great Ian Botham said Flintoff showed he was the one of the greatest all-rounders in 2005 when England defeated Australia to regain the Ashes for the first time in 18 years.
"Throughout the summer he was the leader of the pack and was able to do almost anything he wanted on a cricket field," Botham wrote in a local newspaper.
"His batting, bowling and fielding were in perfect harmony and that can never be taken away from him," he said.
Michael Vaughan said Flintoff caused him to have more management meetings than anybody else during his time as England captain.
"But the match turning, series-winning performances that he put in more than outweighed the odd difficulty he caused," Vaughan said.
Ex-England coach Duncan Fletcher said that Flintoff's injuries after 2005 meant he plateaued as a force at the international level.
But he concluded: "It all comes back to the same thing: make what you like of some of Flintoff's off-field behaviour but on the field he will be sorely missed."