Andrew Flintoff insists he wouldn’t be surprised if Cumbrian all-rounder Ben Stokes “steals the show” for England this summer.

Stokes, from Cockermouth, has struggled to find top form since returning to the side after his part in a fight outside a Bristol nightclub in the early hours of the morning in September 2017.

“The World Twenty20 probably knocked his confidence but that can happen bowling at the death,” said Flintoff of the four successive last-over sixes conceded by Stokes to West Indies Carlos Brathwaite in the 2016 World Cup T20 final in India.

“After that and what happened the other year, [the Bristol incident] you just have to find your feet again.

“He’s always involved in the big moments of a game and he seems to be that lad who lifts the team.

“I think he has come through the other side and I believe we’re about to see the best of Ben Stokes. I hope so because I genuinely love watching him.

“You wouldn’t be surprised if he steals the show this summer and if he does we can all forget about 2005 and move on ourselves!”

Legendary all-rounder Flintoff, 41, also says Jofra Archer must be included in England’s final World Cup squad and would drop ‘”anyone’”to accommodate him, ahead of their opener against South Africa on May 30.

“I think he’s brilliant,” said Flintoff, as he spoke in his role as a World Cup ambassador at the launch of the official tournament song.

“I was watching him bowl the other day and I found it so frustrating that a bloke can bowl so fast with what looks like so little effort.

“For someone to bowl that quick so easily with so much control. And he’s got all the tricks - slower balls, bouncers, yorkers. He bats as well. He’s got to be in, hasn’t he?”

And Flintoff, nicknamed Freddie, had a simple answer when asked which of the bowlers who have done so much to take England to the top of the world one-day rankings will have to make way.

He said: “Anyone.

“If I was already in the squad, I’d just make sure I raised my game so I didn’t miss out. It’s international sport. It’s competitive and it’s good for England to be able to leave out somebody so good.

“I know there’s a thing about him qualifying but we’ve done this for years.

“When I was a kid, we were watching Allan Lamb and Robin Smith and then we waited for Graeme Hick to qualify.

“We had KP, too, so it’s not a new thing. Rightly or wrongly, it happens in cricket.”