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ECB director of cricket Rob Key tips Andrew Flintoff as a future head coach of England

Andrew Flintoff has been tipped as a future England head coach by director of men's cricket Rob Key.

Key has been integral in offering the 2005 Ashes hero a path back from showbusiness to elite sport after the former captain suffered serious facial injuries in a car crash while filming Top Gear.

Flintoff accepted his friend's invitation to anonymously attend games at last year's Ashes series and has since accepted mentoring roles with England's white-ball side as well as the England Lions and Under-19s.

He will further build his CV by leading Northern Superchargers in The Hundred this summer and has been inked in to assist Matthew Mott at the T20 World Cup in June.

With fans and players alike welcoming the return of one of the country's most popular figures of recent times, he is already being spoken about as a possible successor and Key can see why.

"Without question, I think he would be an excellent head coach," Key told the Daily Telegraph.

"He will be a worthy candidate going forward. When that time comes and whoever is in this job, and it might be outside of my time, they would be stupid not to look at him.

"For all the things he has done, cricket is always the thing he goes back to. Like all of us, it is the thing we know better than anything else and the thing we love.

"It is almost like he has no choice. It is what he thinks about the most after his family."

Key praised Flintoff's ability to understand the highs and lows of international cricket and sees him as a natural working with the the current crop.

"Flintoff is a leader like (Ben) Stokes. He is not going to need to learn leadership qualities," said Key.

"He has those in abundance, which is what you need at the top level. He has that empathy that Stokes has as well as being a great player.

"He knows what it is like to nick off and to struggle. All these things as a leader, your interactions with people, mean you can impact people in a positive or negative way with everything you do. 

"Fred is aware of that, and not many are aware of that, and he understands how to use that gift with people."

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