Flintoff, the training session… and the bottle


flintofFormer England captain Andrew flintoff turned up to a training session last winter under the influence of alcohol, the then England coach Duncan Fletcher revealed on Monday.

The revelation which forced Fletcher to cancel the session comes in his new autobiography, which had widely been expected to lift the lid on the 5-0 Ashes debacle of 2006-07 and the disastrous World Cup campaign that followed.

Flintoff was disciplined during the World Cup following the infamous pedalo incident in St Lucia but Fletcher has revealed there were also drink-related problems on the Australia tour, when the star all-rounder was captain.

Fletcher, writing in ‘Behind the Shades’, which is being serialised by the Daily Mail, said: “You just hope the players do not let you down. Sadly Flintoff did. “We went to Sydney for a vital match against Australia and a fielding practice was arranged for 10am. Flintoff turned up still under the influence of alcohol.

“Flintoff was in such a state he could not throw properly. He had to pass the ball to the bloke next to him to do so. And when it came to trying to catch the ball I honestly thought I was going to hurt him, so uncoordinated was he.

“I was fuming and stopped the practice early. Remember: this was the England captain in this state. I had to calm down and think what to do.” Fletcher revealed he seriously considered dropping Flintoff but eventually decided against it to avoid negative publicity. He added: “But what it meant was that when the `Fredalo’ nonsense occurred six weeks later, during the World Cup, there was no way Flintoff could escape censure.”

Source:Cricket News

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 30th, 2007 and is filed under General, Cricket.

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