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Page last updated at 14:09 GMT, Tuesday, 30 June 2009 15:09 UK

Flintoff admits to bus 'mistake'

Adil Rashid and Andrew Flintoff
Adil Rashid and Andrew Flintoff inspect British war graves near Ypres

England captain Andrew Strauss has explained the decision to discipline Andrew Flintoff for missing the team bus for a visit to World War I sites.

Strauss led a team bonding trip to Belgium over the weekend - but all-rounder Flintoff was not on the bus the morning after a team dinner.

He said: "Freddie said he made a mistake, appropriate action has been taken and we move forward.

"He missed the bus. I think he knows he mustn't do it again."

Strauss admitted that several members of the England team have been guilty of timekeeping offences this year, but he insisted Flintoff's latest failing is not a big issue.

Flintoff 'knows when to drink' - Strauss

He said: "Punctuality has been an issue recently with a few players and we're trying to make a few steps to make sure it doesn't happen again.

"There have been a few players letting things slip in that respect and they know it's not acceptable."

He refused to name any of the other players who had been late for events, only saying there had been incidents "in the last few months".

"These things do happen," Strauss added. "It's not a massive issue, timekeeping, but it's important for a team to have. It's something we're very keen doesn't happen again, but in isolation, it's not a massive issue."

Strauss acknowledged Flintoff's past transgressions, most infamously the 'Fredalo' incident when he took a pedalo out to sea and got into difficulties after a drinking session in 2007, but insisted they were not a factor when deciding his punishment.

He said: "This is a timekeeping thing. There's been incidents in the past with Fred, but for us to look back on that at this stage wouldn't be appropriate."


However, Strauss also insisted he would have no hesitation in dropping any player - no matter their talent - if the punishment fitted the crime.

"We all know that Flintoff is playing well, he's a massive asset to the side, but at the same time we don't want one rule for one and one for another."

On dropping a player, he said: "That has got to be an option with anyone who transgresses badly enough, but I'm absolutely certain it's not going to come to that and it would be a very sad day for English cricket if it did."

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see also
Cook makes ton in England warm-up
01 Jul 09 |  England
England pay respects in Flanders
28 Jun 09 |  England
I'll be fit for Ashes - Flintoff
09 Jun 09 |  England
Flintoff antics 'dented Cup bid'
05 Jun 07 |  England
Vaughan wanted Flintoff reprimand
20 Mar 07 |  Cricket
Flintoff 'ashamed' by Cup antics
19 Mar 07 |  England
Vaughan rejects discipline fears
19 Mar 07 |  England

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