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  Monday, 2 December, 2002, 18:15 GMT
Lancs reject Flintoff slur
Andrew Flintoff, England cricketer
Flintoff (right) has been singled out for criticism
Lancashire chief executive Jim Cumbes has spoken out in defence of Andrew Flintoff following criticism from Lord MacLaurin.

The outgoing chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board accused Flintoff of not taking his fitness seriously.


I think that he was doing things in his recuperation that he probably shouldn't have done
MacLaurin on Flintoff

Flintoff, who underwent a hernia operation in the summer, has yet to play in the Ashes series, which has already been won by Australia after three embarrassingly one-sided defeats.

'Freddie is a centrally contracted player therefore he is not under the jurisdiction of the club, he is under the jurisdiction of England," Cumbes told BBC Radio Five Live.

"(Lord MacLaurin's comments) makes it sounds as if Freddie was responsible for losing the Ashes."

MacLaurin accused Flintoff of not taking his recuperation "as seriously as he should have done".

"I think players have to take responsibility for their own fitness," MacLaurin told BBC Radio Five Live.

"That is something we have got to look at and David Graveney is aware of.


A thorough review will be done in a businesslike fashion
David Morgan

"I think that he was doing things in his recuperation that he probably shouldn't have done.

"Professional footballers are back within three or four weeks. Freddy had his operation back in the summer and really should have been back by now."

But MacLaurin backed beleaguered captain Nasser Hussain and said that calls for his resignation were unnecessary.

"I have written to Nasser and I think it would be extremely sad if he stepped down," he added.

"We need his experience, we need all the good things that Nasser has to bring the young players into the side.

"I'm certainly very keen to keep him."

MacLaurin is to be replaced by David Morgan, who has said that a full inquiry will be conducted on England's poor performances this winter.

"A thorough review will be done in a businesslike fashion with the England head coach, the captain, Rod Marsh and the people who run the academy," said Morgan.

Morgan also backed Hussain and gave his support to those who pick the England side.

"I am totally satisfied with the selection board and have no complaints about the selectors or the selection process."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
ECB chairman Lord MacLaurin
"Flintoff did things he shouldn't have done"
England's chairman of selectors David Graveney
"His selection was based on medical information"
Lancashire chief executive Jim Cumbes
"It's very disappointing"

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