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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 October 2006, 08:04 GMT 09:04 UK
Giles steps up to defend Fletcher
Giles and Fletcher
Giles said Fletcher would be hurt by the criticism
Ashley Giles has joined the England players backing coach Duncan Fletcher after Geoffrey Boycott said the coach should pay for poor one-day form.

Giles echoed the words of team-mate Paul Collingwood, who said he was "surprised and baffled" by the call.

"I think it's quite ridiculous to expect us to lose Duncan Fletcher. Ahead of us lies a huge winter and we need Fletch at his best," said Giles.

"There's no more forward-thinking coach in the game than Duncan Fletcher."

Giles told BBC Radio Five Live he thought Test great Boycott's words amounted to a "personal attack".

He said of Fletcher: "He keeps a lot of stuff to himself. It won't frighten him - that is for sure - but criticism to anyone is hurtful."

It is only because I was stranded down the order in this one game that people think I'm wasted there

Paul Collingwood

England are all but out of the Champions Trophy having lost their opening two matches.

Their final group match is against West Indies in Ahmedabad on Saturday.

Boycott spoke out after the six-wicket Champions Trophy defeat to Australia - their ninth loss in 13 one-day matches this year.

However, Collingwood said in his BBC Sport column: "I do not think you should blame the coach for our results.

"The coach can give you as much advice as possible but it is the players who go out and make the decisions."

England and Wales Cricket Board chairman David Morgan also gave his support.

"I've every reason to believe Duncan is the right man and that he has the full support of the captain, the players and the management team," he told the Daily Mail.

Boycott picked out Collingwood, the most experienced player in England's current side with 102 one-day caps, as being too low in the batting line-up.

"He's never played so well, or been so confident. And where is he batting? Number six," Boycott wrote in the Daily Telegraph.

"By the time Collingwood came in on Saturday the game was over, and there was nothing he could do but hang around with the tail-enders."

Collingwood responded: "It is only because I was stranded down the order in this one game that people think I'm wasted there.

"You cannot set the batting order expecting to be five down after 10 overs."

Fletcher should go, says Boycott
23 Oct 06 |  England
ICC Champions Trophy 2006
18 Oct 06 |  Future tour dates


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