Preston-born cricketer Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff is to shine a spotlight on his Lancashire home city in a new BBC documentary which airs next week.

In Freddie Flintoff’s Field of Dreams, the sporting legend will attempt to smash the stereotypes around cricket and make his own team with reluctant teenagers from his own working class home city.

Freddie, 44, is encouraging everyone to watch the show “especially if you don’t like cricket”.

In the last Ashes series, two thirds of the England squad were privately educated - but Flintoff broke the norm, rising from a working-class background to become one of the world’s most famous cricketers. For today’s young generation the opportunity to take Freddie’s path is unlikely, and he wants to change that.

Freddie's determined to prove that anyone, whatever their background, can find confidence, camaraderie and success playing the sport he loves. 

From the outset, he quickly comes up against negative attitudes to cricket.  Not only does he need to attract people to turn up, he needs to train his new team and get them ready to take on an elite private school. He also needs to find them a club and secure funding.

Can he inspire the next generation to give cricket a chance?  Or has he bitten off more than he can chew?

Freddie heads back to his hometown of Preston to start a new cricket team with an unlikely group of teens. 

He’s determined to prove that anyone can play competitive cricket whatever their background. Undeterred by the somewhat negative reception to his idea, he holds try outs and starts a training regime with a group of lively teenagers. 

In the three-part series, Freddie meets 15 year-old Sean, who has attended several different schools, and 17 year-old Ammar, who moved to the UK six years ago and had never even heard of Freddie. 

The boys have a lot to learn in a very short space of time as they will be competing against teams that have been playing together for years. Most of these boys have never even picked up a cricket bat.

Keen to test the boys progress, despite just a few weeks of training and only a vague notion of the rules, Freddie’s boys play their first ever cricket match.  Not everyone is impressed with the rural setting, or the traditions of cricket that Freddie loves.

Filming for the series took place across several Lancashire locations in 2021 and 2022.

Last year, Freddie and BBC crews were spotted at The Base community centre in Leyland where he played a game of cricket with a group of young people on St John’s Green.

Reflecting on the day and on Flintoff’s visit, Andrea Andrews, Youth and Community worker at The Base, said: “ [Freddie] was absolutely amazing- he was so down to earth and friendly- Everyone loved him.

“He would pose for photos and was eager to sign photographs and cricket bats.

“He was also genuinely interested in what we do and asking for our advice on youth engagement.”

“Freddie had a game of cricket with a lot of children and young people on St John’s Green.

“The kids loved it- it was such a wonderful day and it’s something they will remember for years to come.”

He was also spotted at BAC/EE Sports Club and Fulwood & Broughton Cricket Club, Preston, in March this year.

The first episode of Freddie Flintoff’s Field of Dreams will air on BBC One, 5 July at 8pm.