November 6, 2007

English cricket

Fletcher's media obsession ruins his legacy

Martin Williamson

In The Independent Angus Fraser has joined in the attack on Duncan Fletcher for the revelations in his warts-and-all autobiography which was published on Monday. Fraser is particular bemused by Fletcher’s claim that Andrew Flintoff, who he singled out for criticism, could captain England again.

Duncan Fletcher last night became the latest sporting author to backtrack on the contents of a controversial book when he suggested that Andrew Flintoff should be given another crack at the England captaincy. Mike Catt and Lawrence Dallaglio have spent much of the past week attempting to withdraw from comments made about Brian Ashton, the England rugby coach, after the recent World Cup, and Fletcher’s words of encouragement for Flintoff can only have been brought on by the negative publicity he has received since revealing that the all-rounder turned up for practice before a one-day international in Australia drunk.

Nobody should begrudge Fletcher the opportunity to portray his side of the story, or even the odd attempt to settle an old score. Indeed, there were times when he did not deserve the criticism he received. But his reaction to the fallout is frankly rather pathetic. Having thoughtfully placed his views down in black and white, he should then at least have the courage to stand by them.


Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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