Andrew Flintoff, the former England all-rounder, has launched a stinging attack on Michael Atherton, calling his former England and Lancashire colleague a "fucking prick".
Speaking to an Evening Standard journalist at a Sky TV dinner at the Oxo Tower restaurant in London, Flintoff strongly criticised Atherton, who now works as a Sky commentator and Times journalist.
"He's a prick," said Flintoff. "He's a fucking prick. He sits there making judgments about players that are much better than he ever was, believe me, he's a prick.
"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."
Flintoff was then asked if he wanted his comments to be taken as off the record, but replied: "I don't care. Say what you like. There's no love lost there."
Atherton last year criticised Alastair Cook for a lack of dynamism with the bat but has since retracted his comments after the England one-day captain's performances improved, while his relationship with Flintoff is believed to have been placed under strain when in 2006 when Atherton wrote in the Telegraph: "The only positive benefit of the injury to Flintoff may be the end of his immediate captaincy ambitions.
"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."
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