Former England allrounder Andrew Flintoff revealed his respect and admiration for former Manchester United footballer Phil Neville’s cricketing skillset and said he could have been the next Sachin Tendulkar or Ricky Ponting of England.

Calling him a ‘cricketing genius’, Flintoff made these tall claims as he had played junior cricket with him at Lancashire.

“I played junior cricket at Lancashire with Phil Neville. He was a year older than me and he was a cricketing genius,” Flintoff said in an interview with talkSPORT.

Hailing Neville as an allrounder – who was a top-order batsman and was a quick bowler as well, Flintoff went on to claim that he could have been one of England’s greatest ever cricketer had he played cricket and not sign up for Manchester United.

“If that lad would have carried on playing cricket he could have been England’s Ricky Ponting or Sachin Tendulkar, he was that good.

“He used to turn up, open the batting and score 100 every time and after that he’d bowl everyone out!

“He was a quick bowler as well. He got offered a contract at Lancashire, it was something like two-and-a-half grand a year or go and play for Manchester United,” Flintoff concluded.

Winning the 2005 Ashes, eventually, Flintoff went on to become one of England’s greatest ever all-rounders, while Phil Neville won six Premier League titles.