Former England coach's revelations in new book October 27, 2007

Fletcher - Flintoff let me down

Cricinfo staff



The tabloids piled into Andrew Flintoff during the World Cup © Daily Star

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Duncan Fletcher says Andrew Flintoff "let him down" with his drinking at the World Cup. Fletcher left his job as England coach following the team's showing in the Caribbean in April, where they didn't progress past the Super Eights.

Flintoff was one of six players fined after drinking in a nightclub after losing to New Zealand and 48 hours before playing Canada. But attention focussed on Flintoff who fell off a pedalo in the early hours of the morning.

Flintoff, who had already been warned about his conduct during the disastrous Ashes of 2006, was subsequently stripped of the vice captaincy.

Fletcher has now revealed his thoughts about the matter in his new autobiography, Behind the Shades.

"I've supported a lot of players," he wrote, "and I supported Andrew but then he drank again at the World Cup after what had happened in Australia while I was taking a pasting.

"If he does ring me when he sees what I have written I will say, 'At the end of the day, Fred, you let me down in an area that you had real control over'."

Fletcher also received retrospective criticism, along with the England management, for making Flintoff captain ahead of the batsman Andrew Strauss. Fletcher, however, remains unrepentant, arguing that Flintoff needed the captaincy to curb his behaviour.

"I don't regret making him captain. The problem was, in the absence of Vaughan, there were so many unknowns.

It's fascinating to wonder how good Strauss might have been as captain. But an imponderable is, how bad might Fred have been with the whole drinking thing if he hadn't had the responsibility of the captaincy? And would he have taken Steve Harmison with him?"

Fletcher has now set his sights on making a return to county coaching. He had previously worked with Glamorgan before England. He had previously expressed an interest in working with another international side. "I spent two years in county cricket and I'd like to do that again.

"I think I have become a hell of a better coach since my time at Glamorgan and I know how to handle situations better. Having gained the experience I gained with England, it would be nice to go back and put into practice what I perceive to be missing in county cricket."

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