Revelations in former coach's autobiography November 4, 2007

Fletcher defends remarks on Flintoff

Cricinfo staff

"If the pedalo affair hadn't happened I wouldn't have revealed it" © Getty Images

Duncan Fletcher, the former England coach, has defended his decision to reveal Flintoff's drinking problems in Australia in his autobiography Behind the Shades.

Fletcher told the Sunday Telegraph that he wouldn't have disclosed the story if it hadn't been for the 'Fredalo' incident during the World Cup - a late-night drinking session which ended with him being fished out of the sea in the early hours of the morning.

"People have turned round and said, 'should I have brought it up?' From my point of view the two [incidents] were directly linked. You had a situation where an incident took place and rightly or wrongly I kept it in-house, then in three or four weeks' time we had a similar affair. I just thought it was important it was brought out in the open.

"If the pedalo affair hadn't happened I wouldn't have revealed it [the story of England's abandoned practice in Australia]. Having had a chat with him, if nothing had happened, I definitely wouldn't have revealed it. But they were so directly linked I was taken aback by it: enough is enough sort of thing.'

Fletcher also brushed off allegations that he had betrayed the trust of England batsman Marcus Trescothick by revealing what happened in the dressing room when Trescothick suffered nervous breakdowns during tours to India and Australia.

"I chatted to Trescothick about it. There was a phone call that took place long before the book was completed and I said I'd mentioned some of the incidents in the book. At no stage did he say, 'no, I didn't want it in'.

"The only thing that was added [in the book] was the meeting I had beforehand, during the New South Wales game [Trescothick suffered a nervous breakdown on the second day of this match], with the management about how we'd deal with the indications that Trescothick was struggling on tour. I had made up my mind that we wouldn't carry on and the best thing was for him to go home, and it [his breakdown when he returned to the Sydney dressing room after his innings] sadly confirmed what I thought."