Vaughan dismisses article June 6, 2005

Flintoff action under the spotlight

Cricinfo staff

Andrew Flintoff: under the spotlight © Getty Images
Allegations that Andrew Flintoff is a chucker were brusquely dismissed by Michael Vaughan after England's seven-session defeat of Bangladesh at Chester-le-Street.

The claim was made by Peter Roebuck in Saturday's Sydney Morning Herald. In his article, which was syndicated throughout Australia, he wrote that Flintoff's final spell in the first Test at Lord's "contained some of the most blatant transgressions of the law covering legitimate actions seen in respectable company this year". He continued: "Flintoff's action seems to deteriorate when he searches for an extra yard of pace and especially when he moves around the wicket and starts to pound the middle of the pitch. Then his naturally open-chested style betrays him."

Roebuck, the former Somerset captain who now lives much of the year in Australia, appears to have little time for England, and unsurprisingly, his latest outburst found few supporters.

Vaughan brushed aside a post-match question on the matter. "Peter hasn't been in the country," he said. "He's watching it on TV. I have no worries at all about Freddie's action." Dav Whatmore, Bangladesh's coach, added that he had "no complaints".

Flintoff was analysed by ICC officials during last September's Champions Trophy in England - he was one of a number of bowlers who were scrutinised - and his action was found to be well within the 15 degree limit.

It was rumoured that two umpires during last summer's series against West Indies were interested enough to look at television replays at the end of a day's play but that, after reviewing his action, they decided that there was nothing untoward.

Roebuck went to some lengths to deny that his remarks resulted from an anti-English bitterness. "Craven nationalists reacted with fury the last time this column drew attention to Flintoff's action. A regrettable tendency has arisen in some quarters to play the man and not the ball. Not that every delivery was condemned, or every spell. What is the old saying? There are none so blind as those that will not see?

"Flintoff's action is not the real issue," he concluded. "England's lack of rigour is the problem. Long regarded as the guardian of the game, it contributed little to the investigation of corruption (even in county cricket)."