Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

watch listen BBC Sport BBC Sport
Low graphics|Help
---------------
CHOOSE A SPORT
RELATED BBC SITES
Last Updated: Monday, 29 October 2007, 08:57 GMT
Flintoff 'was drunk at practice'
Andrew Flintoff
Flintoff is currently recuperating after undergoing ankle surgery
Former England coach Duncan Fletcher has said a training session was cancelled because Andrew Flintoff was under the influence of alcohol.

The incident happened during last winter's Ashes tour to Australia where Flintoff was captain.

Fletcher told the Daily Mail: "You just hope the players do not let you down. Sadly Flintoff did.

"We arranged a fielding practice in Sydney. He turned up still under the influence of alcohol."

Flintoff's agent Neil Fairbrother refused to comment on the revelations and the 29-year-old England star has gone to the USA before starting his rehabilitation from an ankle operation in Holland earlier this month.

Fletcher added: "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.

"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.

But he said that Flintoff disappointed him with his World Cup drinking antics.

606: DEBATE
MC

Flintoff fell off a pedalo and was one of six England players fined following a drinking session after England's defeat to New Zealand in St Lucia.

The all-rounder had also been warned as to his future conduct during the Ashes defeat when he was England captain.

"I supported Andrew but he let me down in an area that he had real control over," he said.

He was sacked as England vice-captain at the World Cup and banned for a game after the pedalo incident following the six-wicket defeat to New Zealand.

England then failed to progress beyond the Super Eight stage at the World Cup in the West Indies, prompting Fletcher to resign.

I spent two years (coaching) in county cricket and I'd like to do that again

Duncan Fletcher

"I've supported a lot of players but Andrew drank again at the World Cup after what had happened in Australia while I was taking a pasting," Fletcher continued.

"I don't regret making him captain.

"The problem was, in the absence of Michael Vaughan, there were so many unknowns.

"It's fascinating to wonder how good (Andrew) Strauss might have been as captain.

"But an imponderable is, how bad might Fred (Flintoff) have been with the whole drinking thing if he hadn't had the responsibility of the captaincy? And would he have taken Steve Harmison with him?"

The Zimbabwe-born coach is also hoping for a return to county cricket, having been at Glamorgan before taking up his post with England.

"I spent two years in county cricket and I'd like to do that again," he said.

"I think I have become a hell of a better coach since my time at Glamorgan and I know how to handle situations better.

"Having gained the experience I gained with England, it would be nice to go back and put into practice what I perceive to be missing in county cricket."



SEE ALSO
Flintoff 'ashamed' by Cup antics
19 Mar 07 |  England
Flintoff antics 'dented Cup bid'
05 Jun 07 |  England
Flintoff hopeful for 2009 series
05 Jan 07 |  England
England in Sri Lanka 2007
25 Jun 07 |  Cricket


RELATED BBC LINKS:

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


BBC PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
Daily and weekly e-mails | Mobiles | Desktop Tools | News Feeds | Interactive Television | Downloads
Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other sport...

Help | Privacy & Cookies Policy | News sources | About the BBC | Contact us | Advertise with us