Several of England's players at the World Cup were fined for a "breach of team discipline" on Saturday and Andrew Flintoff reportedly had to be rescued after a late-night boating mishap. Andrew Walpole, the England team spokesman, said the transgressions had taken place in St Lucia on Friday night following England's six-wicket defeat by New Zealand in their opening World Cup.
The players were, a source said, fined for a late night drinking session at the Rumours Nightclub near England's team hotel in St Lucia. They had been out late ahead of their second Group clash against Canada on Sunday - a match England must win if they are to qualify for the Super Eights. Fans who witnessed events then contacted several British newspapers to tell them what they'd seen.
The News of the World reported Flintoff, the vice-captain, had been involved in a separate incident of his own. Its back-page headline, "Sunk' n' Drunk - Freddie fined after pedalo booze shame", topped a story saying Flintoff had to be rescued at 4am after capsizing at sea.
The breach was reported to the England team management at breakfast on Saturday and the decision to fine the players involved was taken at a subsequent team meeting, which was attended by the whole squad and management.
Walpole, who refused to name the players involved, the extent of their fines, or the exact nature of the breach, said in a statement: "The England team management today [Saturday] announced that a number of England players had been fined by the head coach, Duncan Fletcher, after admitting to a breach of team discipline last night."