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Last Updated: Monday, 29 October 2007, 11:29 GMT
Nixon rallies to Flintoff defence
Andrew Flintoff
Flintoff faces seven months of recovery after ankle surgery
All-rounder Andrew Flintoff does not have a drink problem, says former England team-mate Paul Nixon.

Former England coach Duncan Fletcher said an Ashes training session last winter was cancelled because Flintoff was under the influence of alcohol.

Nixon was part of England's one-day squad in Australia and at the World Cup in the Caribbean that followed.

"I don't think (Flintoff's) got a drink problem," the wicket-keeper told BBC Radio 5 Live.

606: DEBATE
MC

"I think the pressure of the Australia series - Freddie's such a competitive guy and a passionate guy, he wants to win every game ferociously for England.

"I think that the hiding they got in the Ashes really affected him more than people realise."

And of the ex-England coach, Nixon added: "Duncan is a fair man, a very proud man.

"He's seen very differently with the press to how he is in the dressing room. Duncan takes things very, very personally because he's got his own standards."

Former England captain Graham Gooch told 5 Live: "Duncan Fletcher has written a book, and obviously it helps book sales, but when you're made captain of England and you have the highest honour in the game, you have to set the leadership standards.

"The most important thing when you're captain is you have to gain respect. If these allegations are true, that's disappointing, because you don't gain respect by behaving like that."

Fellow ex-England skipper Alec Stewart added: "If there was a problem it should have been dealt with there and then, and Duncan is now laying things out in the open which is obviously going to cause plenty of discussion."

SEE ALSO
Flintoff 'was drunk at practice'
29 Oct 07 |  England
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


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