Andrew Flintoff, the former England captain and all-rounder, has been elected the new President of the Professional Cricketers’ Association.
Flintoff was elected at the PCA’s annual general meeting, held at Edgbaston Golf Club in Birmingham, today and he succeeds his fellow Lancastrian David Lloyd in becoming only the seventh President in the Association's history.
His presidency will include the PCA’s 50th anniversary celebrations next year which will include a number of high profile events.
“This is a huge honour, especially as it will be the Golden Jubilee of the PCA in 2017,” Flintoff said.
“I have been a PCA member for more than 20 years now and it is an organisation that I am proud to be involved in.
“The Association has carried out pioneering work on mental health and wellbeing for past and present players through the Mind Matters series and the PCA Benevolent Fund does outstanding work in looking after players, past and current, and their dependants who fall on hard times.
“We have a small but dedicated team of professional staff who I look forward to working closely with during my time as President.”
Jason Ratcliffe, PCA Assistant Chief Executive, said: “Fred has always offered his help freely down the years, so it's fantastic that he will take up this prestigious honorary role. He has transcended cricket since finishing, and as the last terrestrial cricketing hero, he has earned respect and universal popularity. We're all looking forward to having him on-board especially over our 50th anniversary."
Flintoff joins an exclusive club as only John Arlott, Jack Bannister, Mike Gatting, Sir Ian Botham, Chris Broad and Lloyd have previously held the PCA's highest office.
"I'm delighted to hand over the reins to Freddie who I know will be as thrilled as I was to become PCA President," Lloyd said.
"It's an honour that is bestowed on very few and to head an organisation that does so much to help so many is a huge privilege."
Mark Wallace, PCA Chairman, said: “Fred has given great support to the PCA in recent years, making memorable contributions to our Rookie Camp, and participating in the first Big Bike Ride in 2013, which raised so much money for the PCA Benevolent Fund.”
Flintoff, 38, played 79 Tests, 141 One Day Internationals and seven T20 Internationals between 1998 and 2009, playing in two Ashes-winning series in 2005 and 2009.
He was Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2005 and ICC Player of the year in 2006 and BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2005.
He played for Lancashire from 1995 to 2014 and for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League and for Brisbane Heat in Australia’s Big Bash League.
Flintoff ended his playing career with 3,795 runs and 219 wickets in Test cricket, 3,293 runs and 168 wickets in One Day Internationals and 9,027 runs – including 15 centuries – and 350 wickets in first-class cricket.
Since retiring from playing, Flintoff’s broadcasting career has taken off both in the UK and Australia. Working as a television commentator and presenter on Channel Ten in Australia for The Big Bash and The Project. Now in its eleventh series, Flintoff is captain of the BAFTA winning ‘A League Of Their Own’ along with authoring and presenting numerous documentaries for Sky One and BBC.