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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 March 2007, 16:17 GMT
Vaughan wanted Flintoff reprimand
By Mihir Bose
BBC sports editor

Michael Vaughan and Andrew Flintoff
Vaughan has had enough of Flintoff's drinking, it has emerged
England skipper Michael Vaughan was instrumental in the decision to strip Andrew Flintoff of the vice-captaincy, BBC Sport has learned.

It is understood that Vaughan regarded Flintoff's participation in a late-night drinking session on Friday as the final straw.

Flintoff had been reprimanded in private on other occasions and Vaughan felt the time had come to make a stand.

England cricket boss David Morgan was also involved in the decision.

Flintoff, 29, was reprimanded after he fell off a pedalo and got into difficulties in the water early on Saturday morning following the drinking session. He was also dropped for Sunday's game against Canada.

Sources have told BBC Sport that the England management felt Flintoff had to be punished because of the number of times he had assured them after other drinking sessions that it would not happen again.

Their determination to make their point also lay behind the decision to ask Flintoff to make the public apology that was staged in St Lucia on Monday.

The fall-out from the incident means it is very unlikely Flintoff would be considered for the England captaincy again, sources say.

Fast bowler Steve Harmison, meanwhile, has predicted that the after hours episode will make Flintoff and England individually and collectively stronger for the challenges ahead in the Caribbean.

"They have made a mistake and been punished for it. The best thing they can do is repay the supporters by getting to the Super 8, getting to the final and winning it.

"I firmly believed they had a good chance of winning the World Cup. Now they have got an even better chance because they will be galvanised by what has happened," he said.

Harmison hit out at press coverage of the Flintoff story, adding: "A lot of the stuff Andrew Flintoff is getting now is a disgrace.

"The stuff coming out is off the back of the 2005. A lot of that wasn't his fault because we were pushed into things for other people's photo opportunities.

"Taking us on a bus trip in London the day after [winning] the Ashes is asking for trouble."



SEE ALSO
Injury scare for England captain
20 Mar 07 |  England
Flintoff 'ashamed' by Cup antics
19 Mar 07 |  England
Vaughan rejects discipline fears
19 Mar 07 |  England


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