'I just don't understand vegetarianism. I can't imagine not eating meat. I love beef, lamb, red meat in general. I don't really count chicken as proper meat.'
He may have been absent from the sports pages of late, but readers of the Observer Food Magazine learned all about Freddie 'Andrew' Flintoff's refuelling habits yesterday. And what a read it was:
'When I was a twentysomething cricketer, there was no such thing as a healthy fitness routine...' [Really? Are you sure about that, Fred?] ... 'I'd eat takeaways, never cook, go out and drink as much as I wanted...'
'Cricket suddenly stopped being a seasonal sport...' [Is this Flintoff, or have the Observer Food people got him mixed up with WG Grace?] ... 'As a kid, I ate normal food, fish fingers, peas, that kind of thing'... 'I like to have a crack at exotic food when I'm abroad, but I wouldn't touch the stuff back home...' 'The only time I crack is over Christmas. Then I eat what I want, but only because we get a very short break from training. Now that I'm concentrating on my bowling, I have to be extra fit, and so that means no more bread and pasta and probably a lot more salad...'
More sala.... Hang on. Rewind there just a little. 'Now that I'm concentrating on my bowling...'? Here is some news, from the man who last season allegedly regarded himself as 'a batting all-rounder'.
For Fred - batting averages over his last five Test series 15.66, 28.22, 28.55, 28.00, 16.75 - it looks like reality bites at last.
NB: As is the way with these things, Flintoff was interviewed on behalf of his new batmaker Puma. They will no doubt be pleased by the news.