Born in Preston 31 years ago, Flintoff grew up in a cricket-mad family: his father played on Saturday afternoons, his brother Chris joined him, and his mother made the teas. "So from an early age I was being pushed around the boundary, playing at the side," he recalls. But he never rebelled against it, save for a brief flirtation with chess. "I played for Lancashire, which is bizarre really. I had a teacher at primary school, and it was almost like something out of a film where you had this school on an estate and you had these kids coming to play chess on their lunchtime." Flintoff's brother even played chess for England. "I was more of a maverick player, no real forward planning, just moved the pieces," he smiles. "I've not played for years ... I think the last time I played was against Mike Atherton."
Read more in The G2 Interview.