Former cricket star Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff has spoken out publically for the first time since suffering a serious crash on the popular BBC show Top Gear.

He described his time after the car accident as "the hardest" he has faced in his life as he spoke during an England Cricket event.

He was filmed awarding an England cap to spin bowler Tom Hartley which was then shared by the England and Wales Cricket Board on social media.

Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff speaks out about 'hardest times' in first public speech since Top Gear crash

In an emotional speech, BBC Top Gear star Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff said: "Your journey hasn't been like a lot of people's. There were no academies, no systems but to me (that) suggests a steeliness, a determination, a passion - which might not be evident on the outside - but it's definitely burning inside.

"When you get this cap, this changes your life. It's one of those things - it's before and after it.

"This enables you to walk tall and move faster. Play with passion, play with pride, play with belief. And also (be) part of a family of people.

"They'll share the good times with you, the successes. But as I found over the past few months, they'll be there in the hardest times of your life, they will stand next to you.

"So like the lion on the cap Tom, be brave, be fearless, be proud and enjoy every minute. It gives me great pleasure to present cap number 272 to Tom Hartley."

While he was applauded by those in attendance, Andrew Flintoff handed Hartley the cap and shook his hand.

In December of last year, the sporting and entertainment figure suffered a serious crash, seeing him rushed to hospital, enduring broken ribs and facial injuries.

The rest of the Top Gear series was cancelled as a result.