Flintoff: Atherton a f*****g p***k
Andrew Flintoff has lashed out at fellow former England captain Michael Atherton, labeling his contemporary "f*****g p***k."
The hard-hitting all-rounder and opening batsman were team-mates between 1999 and 2001.
Since retiring in 2010 after a string of injuries, Flintoff has starred in reality television shows, while Atherton has become an award-winning cricket journalist and television commentator for Sky.
"He's a p***k. He is a f*****g p***k. Atherton sits there making judgments about players that are much better than he ever was, believe me, he is a p***k," the Londoner quoted the 34-year-old Flintoff as saying.
Flintoff drew example from Atherton's recent inquiry into the validity of captain and opening batsman Alastair Cook in the ODI team. Cook, despite criticism, has scored three centuries from his last six innings.
"How can he talk about a player like Alastair Cook, who is 10 times the player he ever was. He has a much bigger average and will go on and on. Atherton averaged in the 30s for England and yet he thinks he can judge others," added Flintoff.
Player-turned-pundit Atherton has in the past dismissed Flintoff's positive impact on the England team and also questioned his captaincy six years ago.
"I don't subscribe to the view that England's underperformance against Sri Lanka was entirely down to Flintoff's captaincy but equally I have never subscribed to the view that he is the man for the job," Atherton wrote in the <I>Telegraph in 2006.