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England Fred-less

Martin Gough | 13:02 UK time, Sunday, 18 March 2007

Martin GoughSt Lucia - England’s timing could not have been any worse as Saturday provided two lessons in the perils of taking lesser nations lightly as Bangladesh overturned India and Ireland secured a famous triumph over Pakistan.

Skipper Michael Vaughan made it clear after defeat to New Zealand that he would be taking this game against Canada seriously but it looks like his players failed to follow that lead.

England’s management confirmed on Saturday that several players were fined after staying out late after the game – it may be as simple as that, with very little booze involved.

But, when the main debate around the laptops in the media centre is the spelling of the word “pedalo”, trouble can’t be far away.

Whispers that inspirational all-rounder Andrew Flintoff could be dropped for this game for disciplinary reasons - amid reports he was involved in an incident at sea in the early hours of Saturday morning - were already doing the rounds as the ground filled up.

When he was the only member of the squad not involved in warm-ups they were as good as confirmed.

Ironically, while I was sightseeing at nearby Pigeon Island (base of the English fleet in the 18th century) on Sunday, a pub landlord regaled me with tales of legendary carouser Ian Botham’s last trip to St Lucia.

As Botham pointed out on television this morning, we indulged Flintoff’s drunken antics after the Ashes triumph of 2005 so it is difficult to condemn him now.

On their showing against Kenya last Wednesday, Canada are not among the “super minnows” but the effects of this weekend could be felt for the rest of the World Cup campaign.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 01:21 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Andy Jones wrote:

Ian Botham says we cant condemn Freddie because we supported his supported his post ashes celebration is absolute nonsense. The team are in the middle of the World Cup with a crucial game to come. If he'd capsized a Pedalo on April 28th after winning the world cup then I would have laughed and supported him again but these are professional sportsmen paid to do a job and this sort of behaviour at such a crucial stage in a big tournament is totally unacceptable. Grow up boys!

  • 2.
  • At 01:26 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Campbell Hughes wrote:

I think Flintoff is an absolute disgrace, I think he should be sent home. Players like Paul Nixon must be dismayed. Its the world cup for goodness sake.

  • 3.
  • At 01:29 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • DJ Moggy wrote:

Freddie what are ya like??? If England fail it'll be on your head.

  • 4.
  • At 01:30 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • st george wrote:

what did freddy do?

  • 5.
  • At 01:31 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Melba wrote:

Shame on you Flintoff, drinking is not that important surely, unless you have a problem, if you do please seek help before it ruins your career....England will stand behind you as long as you are on top,,,but when you go down,,,,,England and that rest of the world will step on you...

Stay strong.

  • 6.
  • At 01:33 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • steve fx wrote:

No doubt Flintoff is being used as an example to the others - message is that if freddie can be dropped anyone can be.

Who cares what Botham thinks - his views are completely biased due to his own repuration whilst touring. Anyway - celebrating at the end of a triumphant season is a bit different to playing up 2 days before a world cup match.

  • 7.
  • At 01:35 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • mike calvert wrote:

Hypocrisy springs to mind and all that, but, if this team are to do as well as the media seems to think they can, bearing in mind how hammered they got in Australia(in a different manner), one must say that discipline is needed.
These are professionals out there working, not on vacation. They are paid more for this contest than I see in a year.

They are also--one should remember-not very good! The victory in Australia was a welcome confidence booster but their record in this competition is pretty grim.

There needs to be some discipline, Vaughan cannot control Flintoff, Pietersen is an opportunist and a loner. They all are not as good as they are cracking themselves up to be. I think.


  • 8.
  • At 01:35 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • paul mitchell wrote:


There is a difference between the media and the supporters indulging a player winning the Ashes after six weeks of intense cricket and taking an early morning frolic when we have hardly got out of the blocks in the World Cup.

  • 9.
  • At 01:36 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Howard Cole wrote:

We indulged him his drunken antics? Some might have done. Others thought he was believing the hype. He's been mostly unimpressive since 2005 and even if he was in my fantasy cricket team I'd still give his place to someone who looked like they might score a run or two. I suppose he usually catches one or two in the slips. How disappointing.

  • 10.
  • At 01:37 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • greg wrote:

Flintoff is overrated, hes a decent to good bowler and sometimes but rarely produces a good 100 with the bat but not nearly as often as is needed, infact I struggle to remember a consistent run of scores hes struck. Compared with the other all rounders, Kallis, Afridi, Cairns hes ordinary. Bopara has a better chance of some runs so fair play.

  • 11.
  • At 01:38 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Matt wrote:

Good on England - I'd like to think that Freddie would have been left out even if this wasn't against Canada.

There have been rumours of a drinking culture creeping back into the England camp, and while we all laughed and smiled at Freddie at 10 Downing Street after the Ashes victory, it's not so funny now.

Celebrating a hard-fought victory, yes.
Celebrating a dismal defeat in the opening World Cup match, no.

Well done Fletcher on taking this on now, publicly. It's a shame that it had to happen (Freddie desperately needs time in the middle, particularly after his last performance with the bat), but hopefully that might prove that no man is an automatic selection.

  • 12.
  • At 01:38 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Liz wrote:

I condemned Andrew Flintoff's behaviour following the Ashes series - totally embarrassing. Others may have not commented because of his contribution to the Ashes series. I also contacted the ECB when he was interviewed on TV at a sporting event when he was again drunk. I did not want him to lead the team - a drunken cricketeer is not a good role model. It seems that Mr Flintoff has to learn that this drunken behaviour and his influence on younger players cannot be tolerated. He is not worthy of captaining England. In the absence of Vaughan, Andrew Strauss was by far the more able candidate to lead the team. I knew that Andrew Flintoff's character was suspect and the latest escapade confirms my views.

  • 13.
  • At 01:39 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • david Rafferty wrote:

Sitting listening to TMS here in the North East of England with driving snow outside. You guys are the luckiest people in the world. Good on England for dropping Flintoff too, he is a senior player and should know better.

  • 14.
  • At 01:40 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Lord Brocklehurst wrote:

It looks as if Freddy is not pulling in the same direction as his captain. Perhaps there are some sour grapes involved here?

  • 15.
  • At 01:43 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Zoe wrote:

I don't find it hard to condemn Fred. I find this laddish culture, (shown perfectly in Botham's idiotic comments) incredibly annoying. As Hussain pointed out, the binge after the Ashes was at the end of a successful series not at the begining of a potentially disasterous world cup, and so (though a tad embarassing) far more acceptable than friday night's escapade.

Yes, Fred has been our best bowler over the last 2 years (as Botham said), but during that time he's actually only taken part in winning one test series. He's not so good as to excuse this behaviour. I found it really shocking that he was warned about his drinking in Australia. Freddie's a good cricketer, but I wonder how good he could be if he took his cricket as seriously as many devouted fans do.

I'm not asking him to be a saint. I don't object to drinking or the occasional binge. But I do object to my country being represented by a man who comes across as a thick, irresponsible, yob.

  • 16.
  • At 01:45 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • adrian sherratt wrote:

Oh Duncan,
You truly are a stubborn old mule!!!!!!! fred was absolutely smashed after the ashes and nothing was done.... So why now as Ian Terence points out....

Somewhat after the horse has buggerd off run the national two years running, the gold cup and then stepped a tiny bit out of line and BANG.....

Well come on Canada!!! Ireland did it you two can do it and hasten Mr.Fletcher's departure. As Bumble would say "start the car"....

  • 17.
  • At 01:54 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • The Mariner wrote:

Liz, what self-righteous drivel. I'm not going to dispute the merits of the decision today, but what you have posted is just a personal attack on the man, something which is totally uncalled for.

  • 18.
  • At 01:57 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Paddy wrote:

From what I understand, the guys inc. Freddie were at "Rumours" night club drinking. Some so called fans were straight onto the Sunday Newspapers to tell them what they had seen. I find that despicable because in my view the only reason they would do that is to get some kind of Kudos by being able to say....I told them about that as they show off to their friends.
What our players subsequently did after that was wrong not least because that beach has no lighting whatsoever at night and is dangerous in the water, but also because they are being paid to be there representing England. If you have ever been to St Lucia you will see how easy it is to get caught up in the lifestyle of Music and drinking. A little would have been ok, but the excess to which they reached was wrong. A lesson learned boys, time to behave now and win us the World Cup.

  • 19.
  • At 02:05 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Paddy wrote:

From what I understand, the guys inc. Freddie were at "Rumours" night club drinking. Some so called fans were straight onto the Sunday Newspapers to tell them what they had seen. I find that despicable because in my view the only reason they would do that is to get some kind of Kudos by being able to say....I told them about that as they show off to their friends.
What our players subsequently did after that was wrong not least because that beach has no lighting whatsoever at night and is dangerous in the water, but also because they are being paid to be there representing England. If you have ever been to St Lucia you will see how easy it is to get caught up in the lifestyle of Music and drinking. A little would have been ok, but the excess to which they reached was wrong. A lesson learned boys, time to behave now and win us the World Cup.

  • 20.
  • At 02:11 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Martin R wrote:

So, we now know for certain what many suspected - Flintoff is a buffoon; talented, but flawed. And now we all know why England's defence of the Ashes was embarassing - it can be laid at Flintoff's door.

Send him home, and never again appoint him captain (or vice-captain) of anything.

  • 21.
  • At 02:14 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Rob wrote:

Whilst it is unacceptable for Flintoff and the rest of players to be out on the last during the World Cup, especially after such a poor showing against New Zealand.

I think the ECB must share much of the blame, they have overworked and under supported the players for years, but particularly so in the last year. Freddie, whilst his form has been up and down, has been one of the players that have kept the England team together and is only 1 of a few real match winners we have.

Michael Vaughan needs to display his captainship qualities and keep Freddie and the rest in check. I hope they do not strip him of his vice captainship later, I do not believe we have another player with the character to the lead the team out should Vauhan be out injured again.

At least the Canadian bowlers on consistent? "Consistently bad that is" never seen so many wides and no balls.

  • 23.
  • At 02:23 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • M Bhandari wrote:

Discipline is the most important attribute absolutely imperative in a sportsman. It is therefore correct that Freddie is dealt with for he must set an example which I feel he has not been doing.

  • 24.
  • At 02:26 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Mike wrote:

Why is everyone so surprised about Flintoff's behavior? the whole team plays good enough to get on the tour, (whether it be for the Ashes or the world cup) they then take all their wives/family with them, and it's like a holiday, they've get paid win or lose so why should they care? And why should we?!

  • 25.
  • At 02:26 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Rob wrote:

And out come the puritans and Mary Whitehouses of middle England. What is all the fuss about? Ultimately he is a young bloke who got taken to the Caribbean with work and went out and got hammered - hell if I was taken there by work you can bet that I would be out late having a great time!

Personally I find all this funny. It does not lessen his abilities and it shows he is a human, a young man just like countless other young men. Just because his career is a cricketer rather than a banker doesnt mean he should have a personality labotomy.

Had I been out there I would have bought him a drink.
And had I been in that ashes team I would have been hammered for a month, I barely would have come up for air!

Stop being so righteous, go wash out your blue rinses. ask yourself if you really want to be a boring old stick - you were young once too, go on you remember - before you started to stay in on Saturday nights just so you could write to Points Of View - you too used to go out have fun, be silly and make some mistakes. Wake up to the real world - if you lot had your way the world would be a far duller place.

As for those below writing to the ECB etc - have you got nothing better to do with your life?!? Clearly not, but do you really find that this helps you feel fulfilled? Maybe you should go and get a life of your own instead of meddling in other peoples when it really does not concern you.

  • 26.
  • At 02:28 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • anfieldsparky wrote:

I think it has been blown up out of all proportion. After all one completely sober side has already been knocked out!

  • 27.
  • At 02:29 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • rickmick wrote:

Management were absolutely right to discipline players and to suspend Flintoff. Both the Test side and the one-dayers have lacked discipline on the field for much of the Australian tour and now the World Cup let alone off the field. Bring them home now and save us all from further embarrassment - they are not fit to wear the blazers!

It is sort of his weakness, Freddie. He still seems to be in University sports club mode. Still, I wonder whether he would have been dropped if it had been a crucial semi final match against Australia... ?!

  • 29.
  • At 02:33 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • anfieldsparky wrote:

I think it has been blown up out of all proportion. After all one completely sober side has already been knocked out!

Think the real shame lies with despicable worm like creatures who call themselves supporters who emailed the papers telling tales out of school!

Do you think the Irish supporters did this last night?

  • 30.
  • At 02:38 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • nathan farmer wrote:

i think a fine is far enough for flintoff, leaving him out of a match is too far. he is a key player in our team and we need practice with him for the world cup.

  • 31.
  • At 02:55 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Dick the Pom wrote:

Fair enough, Freddie has been warned by management before so he gets a tougher sanction. Quite right. Dealt with quickly and professionally by the England management and we can all move on.

My highlight from Botham's comments was his accusing the england supporters of doing wrong by also being out in nigthclubs in the early hours - how dare they be out late, having taken holiday and paid a small fortune to give england support in the Windies. Good call Beefy lets round on any english fans who are enjoying their holiday!!

  • 32.
  • At 03:01 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Robert Oliver wrote:

Flintoff's antics have placed the team management in difficult position. By dropping him today ironically gives the England team aonther excuse for a lack lustre performance.
Perhaps consideration ought to be given to performance related pay?The whole team should be docked pay or rewarded depending on how far they perform and progress in the competition.

  • 33.
  • At 03:25 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • thomas wrote:

What a boring match. I think we should drop Duncan Fletcher as soon as possible. I have never met such a grumpy coach.

I hope England find a way to move the big hitters up the order (Bell at 5 and KP at 3 or 4 depending on how soon the 1sr wicket falls).

At this rate we may still lose the match.

quite a depressing game, let's hope a wicket falls soon so we can get KP in.

  • 34.
  • At 03:26 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Kennyboy wrote:

It's about time the ECB hit players hard for indiscipline.
We've got Harmison who wants to pick and choose which games he sprays wides in,Trescothick who can't handle the pressure of earning thousands more than most of us could ever earn and Botham Mark Two, who is trying his hardest to waste the talent he undoubtedly has,rather like his predeccessor.
If these pampered so-called professionals can't cut it, replace them with players who would properly represent their country such as Strauss, Bopara and Broad.

  • 35.
  • At 03:36 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Rob Cherry wrote:

If the guys out in the Windies can't be professional, then bring them home and send out some that can be. You only have to look at what has happened to Pakistan and India to see what occurs when you performance dips and others raise theirs.

  • 36.
  • At 03:41 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • CC wrote:

Just to add my voice to the others making the same point. When Flintoff got plastered after the Ashes that was, as the name suggests, at the end of the series when he didn't have to practice or be ready for a match for a month or so. To do the same in the middle of a campaign, after a defeat when extra paractice and concentration is needed... the situations are so different that I can't imagine the former being thought of as an excuse for the latter.

Botham merely wants an excuse not to condemn someone who behvaes as he behaved, and doesn't want to face up to the possibility that his previous behaviour was just as irresponsible and plain wrong as Flintoff's is now.

  • 37.
  • At 03:42 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • d j Fireworks wrote:

Players must know that they are not bigger than the game. Regardless to what position you have respect come first. Flintoff is a senior in the team and he suppose to set the right standard.
England continue to play hard and reach the final.

  • 38.
  • At 03:49 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Faizal wrote:

No one is bigger than the game. Flintoff as a senior member must be more responsible and set high standards for the youngsters. The punishment that he received is just one example that other teams should follow. Hats off to Fletcher and the management.

Let's start all over and focus on this competition it means a lot to all cricket lovers in England.

  • 39.
  • At 03:50 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • sammy wrote:

What i find worrying is that this our recent captain in an ashes series and our vice captain in this world cup. This is someone who should showing and helping the young players in all aspects of the game. I believe the players may look up to him more as he is this "one of the lads character" cealry he is leading these players in the wrong direction nand i m glad he has been disciplined as an example to show that this isnt the right way to behave. Also maybe knowing that the public our dissapointed in him might make Flintoff play with sometime to prove next time he is out the field!

  • 40.
  • At 03:53 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Emma Roids wrote:

Flintoff may have done cleverer things than take a pedalo out while not in a state of total sobriety, but does this really merit so much righteous indignation from people who I suspect may never have played anything to a competitive level?

  • 41.
  • At 03:56 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Martin R wrote:

Eng 169-4 after 38. Am I the only one who secretly hopes England will lose and go out of the Cup today?

  • 42.
  • At 04:08 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • kennyboy wrote:

Fantastic to hear Ian Botham excusing Flintoff's behaviour. Then again, he didn't excel in the West Indies either, did he? Typical hypocrisy really, Botham has spent the last two years slagging off England for being unprofessional, then condones it in the next breath! To be honest, it was only going to be semis at the most so I'd send Flintoff home to reconsider his international future and fine him the rest of his no doubt considerable tour fee.I'd also terminate his central contract.

  • 43.
  • At 04:09 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Matt wrote:

Flintoff's treatment is a mask for a much deeper malaise. The person who should be sacked as soon as is convenient is Duncan Fletcher. Apart from his rotten coaching and team management it is his lax attitude towards the players' performances that has encouraged this carefree attitude in the team. All the excuses, all the whining about it just being 'a bad day' has led to an extraordinary sense of complacency amongst the players, and yet if it wasn't for Australia having had a bad week at the end of the CB series this would count as the worst winter ever for an English touring side. Rather than making endless excuses Fletcher should have installed a sense of shame in the players and encouraged them to work a good deal harder.

  • 44.
  • At 04:22 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Ollie wrote:

"Compared with the other all rounders, Kallis, Afridi, Cairns hes ordinary."

What are you basing this on? None of these can bowl as well as freddie, although his batting requires much more work. Freddie is not a no. 6, he should be going in at 7 (or even 8 if we had any other good batsmen!).

  • 45.
  • At 04:24 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Sid wrote:

I am disappointed in Freddie. He seems to be letting go everything he worked so hard for a few years ago. Celebrating after the Ashes win was fine, but to go out drinking and clubbing during a tournament, especially after losing the first match was plain stupid. Pull yourself together Freddie before you lose everything.

  • 46.
  • At 04:26 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Steve from Oz wrote:

Good grief! Is this the England XI, or the Boy Scouts? Yes team discipline is important, but don't cut off yer nose to spite yer face! Any opponent would be happy to not have to face Freddy. So just who is being punished here?
Steve in Oz, puzzled...

  • 47.
  • At 04:28 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Chris wrote:

Never mind Fred's antics - I want to know what sort of person goes on holiday with the phone number of the News of the World in their mobile phone memory?!!!

  • 48.
  • At 04:29 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Martin Gough wrote:

Campbell Hughes, you'll note Paul Nixon was one of the bad boys!

  • 49.
  • At 04:39 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Bruno Gissara wrote:

I have always found Flintoff overrated, in most interviews he came across as being a few bricks short of a house, and his speech sounded slurred.. He's a fairly good bowler, but I don't think he has the characteristics to be world class, good yes, but world class.. not really...

He comes across as a yob, who doesn't seem to take his role seriously... He needs to learn to behave, or he should be kicked out... Vaughan is a great player, but a weak captain as he cannot seem to reign in the rebellious elements... Pointing is much more of a captain than Vaughan... England were thrashed by Australia in the Ashes, and as soon as they won a one day tournament, they think they are the dog's plums... Far too over confident...

  • 50.
  • At 04:40 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • John Townend wrote:

Knowing Freddie like I do, he won't perform against Kenya and England will be like Pakistan on their way home. People forget these cricketers have been on the road for some time. Freddie has a young family and has seen very little of their growing up. Sooner or later it would take a toll. You watch against Kenya -Freddie for a duck and England go home-take a rest.

  • 51.
  • At 04:44 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • David Barham wrote:

Once again the famous british media nobble the brits, And why... so they can sell newspapers. Scum is where scum belongs

  • 52.
  • At 04:55 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Jon wrote:

Please leave Freddie alone - he is a brilliant player - the best we have!! I'm sure all he was doing was taking the lads out to build up some team spirt after the poor result against New Zealand! Give him back the vice-captaincy. Is it just me or is the world going mad?

  • 53.
  • At 05:00 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Nick Tye wrote:

Botham is completely deluded! I don't have a problem with players having a few drinks when they have won the Ashes! But that was nearly 2 years ago. What have they achieved since? After a disappointing performance against New Zealand, this was not the time to get drunk less than 48 hours before their next fixture. And anyway, are the players so thick that they cannot appreciate that thousands of victory-starved Emgland fans were more than ready to report any antics to the press!
Flintoff and the rest need to grow up a bit and concentrate on the cricket! They are representing their country.

  • 54.
  • At 05:03 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Sanjay Majmudar wrote:

Flintoff's arrogance is aparent here. Only someone who feels that they are bigger than the team would do something like this. Get rid of him. Cricket and moreover English sport in general doesn't need people like him representing the country during a world cup.

  • 55.
  • At 05:07 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Sean wrote:

Excuse me for being thick, but isn't drinking after you've won the Ashes a little different from drinking during a competition?
Come on Beefy - perhaps you need more to eat that just wheat!

  • 56.
  • At 05:09 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • VOM wrote:

Unsurprised at Flintoff, surprised that the management made the right decision and acted immediately.
Liam Plunkett obviously possesses no self-discipline whatsoever - breaks squad rules within a month of his DD ban. Sure he'll be happy to give us the lowdown in his blog....

  • 57.
  • At 05:24 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Adrian G wrote:

Well done managmenet for showing - at last - some authority. Send Flintoff - and others if necessary - home. He has clearly lost the plot.

  • 58.
  • At 05:24 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • nick hughes wrote:

congratulations to freddie on being a human being !!! a couple of jars hasn't done him too much damage on the pitch over the last fews year. from an objective point of view one could argue that its the selectors who have been on the lash for a few years with some of their ideas, besides the taxis are expensive in st lucia so i thought a pedalo is a cheap, and a eviromentally friendly way to travel!!

  • 59.
  • At 05:29 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • dazarama wrote:

Alleged excess of alcohol may explain Fred's difficulty in seeing the ball!

I reckon Beefy coming to Fred's defense is just enough to rest the case for the prosecution ;-)

  • 60.
  • At 05:34 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Adrian Baron wrote:

There were similar allegations about several members of the England side having a night out in St. Vincent after the warm up loss to Australia and although not as severe, many players seem to be suffering a lack of self disciplaine as well as form. Fletcher was quite right to impose dicsciplaine by dropping Flintoff.

Tony Blair will be pleased that some members of his World Cup Squad are advocating his 24hour drinking culture.

  • 62.
  • At 05:36 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • chris peters wrote:

Mainly sanctimonious drivel. Drop him by all means if he isn't good enough but what sportsmen do off the pitch isn't of any interest to me.

We live in an age in which sportsmen, politicians and anyone in the public eye are expected to live in monastic self denial - which they then don't, allowing the newspapers and the majority of correspondents to this blog to froth in jealous rage.

Why do I suspect that if Flintoff had scored 100 and taken 5 wickets against NZ this would have played out very differently.

  • 63.
  • At 05:42 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • adrian brand wrote:

With this frequent comparison between Flintoff's antics now, and his night out after winning the Ashes, wouldn't it be fair to say it's not the same thing? Getting drunk after winning the Ashes I would have thought would be considered a well earned celebration. I can't say the same about going out after getting beaten by NZ in a first round game. Good thing Flintoff has been punished this time!!
- an aussie in France

  • 64.
  • At 05:44 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Phil Smithson wrote:

RE; Flintoff Suspension
There is an old Cockney saying when you've had too much too drink called " Pushing the boat out..."

  • 65.
  • At 05:46 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Katey wrote:

Firstly Botham saying: "What were all the supporters doing out at that time of night? They shouldn't be pointing the finger". Well Beefy they are on HOLIDAY and have PAID for it and can do what they like. Flintoff is WORKING and is BEING PAID for it.

Flintoff is a disgrace, and has let all English cricket fans down badly with this behaviour. The team had two games in three days, so team members should not have been out on a bender.

What makes this even worse is that apparently, unbekown to fans, Flintoff has repeatedly been breaking team rules over the past few months.

Everything he spouted after defeats, about 'how much playing for England means' is clearly meaningless rubbish.

He has been caught out, and should NEVER captain England again.

  • 66.
  • At 05:46 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Phil Smithson wrote:

RE; Flintoff Suspension
There is an old Cockney saying when you've had too much too drink called " Pushing the boat out..."

  • 67.
  • At 05:49 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Phil Smithson wrote:

RE; Flintoff Suspension
There is an old Cockney saying when you've had too much too drink called " Pushing the boat out..."

  • 68.
  • At 05:53 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • gillian wrote:

Seems to me that the pressure is getting to some.This CWC2007 is going to be one for the books.This is a team sport,and in-fighting at this stage is not going to help.Vaughn is not going to win this on his own.Let's face it,Ireland is playing much better cricket at the moment.The lads should examine why.My gut tells me that Brian Lara's men are going to lift that trophy.

  • 69.
  • At 05:54 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • capricornfrettchen wrote:

It's appalling. Flintoff et al are supposed to be role models for a country where binge drinking and ASBO-type antisocial behaviour are becoming the norm. A role model is someone one aspires to copy, not someone who copies the lowest common denominators of society! England management - get your brains in gear and please send these fools home to the Jobcentre!

  • 70.
  • At 05:57 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • capricornfrettchen wrote:

It's appalling. Flintoff et al are supposed to be role models for a country where binge drinking and ASBO-type antisocial behaviour are becoming the norm. A role model is someone one aspires to copy, not someone who copies the lowest common denominators of society! England management - get your brains in gear and please send these fools home to the Jobcentre!

When will management also learn that some more spirited folks need their head....He has proved himself to be a champion so we get all surprised when he behaves like a normal person...broken record...After the bad game against NZ he probably felt like blowing it off & so he did, ok he pulled a few young ones with him but that wont kill them and whats more had he played today he would have more than likely smashed the ball around the ground better than anyone, having, in his own way, ridden himself of cramping cobwebs which makes all chmapions try too hard and fail...
Lets have some real strong and honest management in the team, those that can really lead none of this feeble, journalist hassled bunch..Stand up Fred you're here to fight another day & thank goodness for that...!!!

  • 72.
  • At 06:01 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • DaveL wrote:

Well I for one did NOT "indulge Flintoff’s drunken antics after the Ashes triumph of 2005"; I was embarrassed by them. The reason? My children were watching and got the impression that it is normal to behave like this in public; that sporting victory goes hand-in-hand with drunkenness.

Flintoff is a role model for young cricketers and should by now realise that his high profile demands high standards.

  • 73.
  • At 06:03 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Ravyn wrote:

If I was lucky enough to be i the England side, I'd be in the nets at 4.30 in the morning. I bet thats where Monty is, no doubt bowling at Mike Hussey.

Freddie should be improving his batting, which as been as dismal as his captaincy over the winter.

However, on the other had, they are all adults, they should be abe t act responsibly-not too many of us can get regularly plastered and go to work the next morning-but we do occasionally!

I just hope we all gt better, not lose to Canada, and go on to at least the Semi finals in this tournament.

  • 74.
  • At 06:05 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • brian radesk wrote:

How long are the public expected to put up with the celebrity culture which seems to be pervading English cricket?

Send Flintoff home and any others who behave in this way. This is the only thing that will put a stop to this nonesense. The disgraceful attitude (forgetting the results) showed by the majority of the team in Australia should have ensured that most of them should not have been picked for the World Cup anyway. The places should have gone to those players wanting to show pride in representing their country.

  • 75.
  • At 06:11 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • steve parker wrote:

Is someone filtering these mesages. No one seems to be supporting Flintoff! True genius is always flawed. Freddie has made a mistake, been punished and that is it. Get over it. Now let's get back to the cricket. We need Freddie for his bowling and fielding. The batting is a bonus.

  • 76.
  • At 06:12 PM on 18 Mar 2007,

Having read all the blurb about Mr Flintoff, I am not surprised at the action taken against him. Having blogged in the New year on our return from Oz after the Ashes, we were aware of a couple of occasions where he was seen a 'little worse for wear'. He appears to have taken the 'icon' image too far and unfortunately had his fingers burnt.
Top tip, always remember, no one is bigger than the game!

  • 77.
  • At 06:17 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • andy wrote:

I cant believe that some people are condemning the supporters who rang the papers to tell what they saw - if you had spent as much money as they have getting out there and getting tickets to the game you would be upset too if you saw the players who had performed so insipidly earlier on in the day acting in such a manner. Flintoff's behaivour was a disgrace, how hard is it to go a few weeks without a beer? Do you think the australian side would have reacted to such a dismal defeat in this manner?

  • 78.
  • At 06:19 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

The comparison that Ian Botham tries to draw is laughable to say the least, and to be honest has done him no credit whatsoever either. England's batting performance against New Zealand was a disgrace; under no circumstances should 4 middle order batsmen be dismissed in 5 minutes. Now considering Flintoff was one of those 4, and, incidently, took no wickets... perhaps he should have got up early to practice NOT nurse a hangover. Ultimately, if this had been a football World Cup, the public, press and coaching staff would have demanded that any player acting so irresponsibly be sent home in shame. But, such is the state of our team, Freddie's standing and the gutless coach and ECB that he leaves with a slapped wrist. Banned from a game they could afford to make an example out of him... disgusting England.

  • 79.
  • At 06:22 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • AlT wrote:

Liz - "a drunken cricketeer". What a fantastic concept. I can only hope that the term "cricketeer" formally enters the English language forthwith.

  • 80.
  • At 06:25 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • ceebs wrote:

People are all taking this a bit seriously. It's sport, it's meant to be fun. The games characters have a tendancy to do things like this, remember Gower and Morris's aircraft exploits, during a game?

  • 81.
  • At 06:26 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Michael Sellers wrote:

I don't know why people are talking about if we don't win the world cup then it's on Freddie's head? What a load of tosh. We are not going to win the world cup in a million years anyway with a half rate team that we have.
At the moment even the Irish bowling attack looks better than ours. Anyway when it comes down to it we English are a nation of drinkers, we like fun too much, we are jokers.The reason that our footballers don't drink "like they used to" is because they are scared of losing their 100,000 weekly wages. Look what good it did being "professional" during the last football world cup? The last time we really looked like winning a big tournament was back in 96 with a team of good time boys (GAZZA & CO) and a manager with a reputation of being a bit "dodgy"! We are not going to be a big nation in sport unless we change our culture. We need to become dedicatedly boring to win things on a more regular basis!
So until then even though you can and rightly so wonder what Freddie was playing at my vote goes to the hard working , hard playing , big talent men like Bothams and Flintoffs instead of the boring ones who go to bed at half ten but don't have the talent!

  • 82.
  • At 06:30 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Dan wrote:

Sad to hear Bob Woolmer has died!!

Freddie is a prat!!


  • 83.
  • At 06:35 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • duri naimji wrote:

Three points:
1) Flintoff broke player's rules, and after warnings, was penalised in proportion. It was all done professionally. All sports are rule- governed, on and off the field.This is not an occasion to self-attack!
2)Pakistan's loss to Ireland demonstrates the unpredictable nature of cricket,and problem solving skills.Pakistan players know lots more cricket skills than Irish players, but showed less problem solving skills in dealing with new problems in a new place.
3)India fell to Bangladesh for similar reasons as Pakistan fell to Ireland and as Australia fell to them last summer in England.So-called small teams are underrated, and more established players skylark. While it is worrying to miss seeing some great cricketers in action, it is good to see good organisation, effort, tactics, techniques, team- work,problem-solving skills rewarded.That is what cricket involves, I submit.

  • 84.
  • At 06:37 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Backward Point wrote:

Jeez Beefy, you were a great cricketer, but you don't half talk some b****cks sometimes.

  • 85.
  • At 06:41 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Baz Dyke wrote:

Many many condolencies to Bob's family. This man was a giant in cricket coaching, destined to replace Duncan Fletcher in the England set up.

Having now gone to the great wicket in the sky he will be much missed by all that loved the game, no matter what nationality.

  • 86.
  • At 06:43 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • scanerz wrote:

whilst Freddie is a young bloke and should be able to have a good time, how on earth can he have any excuse for this sort of behaviour whilst in camp??

I'm 22, at Uni and play a lot of rugby. Our team drink an awful lot, but even though we are students, we take our matches seriously - no drunkeness for 48hrs before a match, and the night before a match, we go for a meal and generally chill.

He has captained his country, he is being paid thousands of pounds to work in a wonderful country and lives a lifestyle most can only dream of. One of the conditions of this is that clean living is required for so many weeks of the year. Suspension for one match?? wow, what a punishment. Surely this would be grounds for cancelling his contract, but the media has turned him into such a big star the ECB havent got the guts to do this.

He is a disgrace

  • 87.
  • At 06:48 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • alan wrote:

i think that freddy flintoff needs to calm down a bit. but here are two sides to every coin. i am a soldier in the British army and i know that it is the worst thing as a up and coming youngster to see someone you admire and respect acting in such a fashion
If freddie came backinto the side to take the world cup by storm, you would be singing his praises( not that i am saying he will of course but i live in hope). i think the hypocrites that wrote before me need to take a step back and think about what they are saying. personally think a whole lot of good can come of this because i believe Freddie is professional enough to learn from this and take the team forward.
Also do you really believe what you read in the papers and online?

thanks for taking the time to read.

  • 88.
  • At 06:48 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Adrian wrote:

It is amusing to hear Ian "Roll out the barrel" Botham condone supid antics. His effective career was cut short by such antics.

  • 89.
  • At 06:54 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Zoe wrote:

I was recently at a conference with work. Everyone got a little drunk in the evenings, but if I'd have got completely of my face, found a pedalo on Brighton beach, headed out to sea, fallen in, caused the coast guard to be summoned, all while being paid and representing my company, I would have been in very big trouble, possibly facing the sack.

In no way is this double standards. What Flintoff did is not normal fun behaviour, it's pretty extreme. And I find it weird that some of you see falling off a pedalo a intication of 'character'. SAD.

I'm not calling for his crucifiction, just saying that what he did was unacceptable and it's perfectly reasonable that he's been punished.

  • 90.
  • At 06:55 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

'...after the Ashes triumph'...

that's the point.

Not during the World Cup!

  • 91.
  • At 07:08 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Johnny wrote:

How quick we are to turn on the man who was such an inspiration to English cricket just 2 years ago. Excessive drinking should not be condoned especially whilst playing in the World Cup but his night out was 48 hrs before the match which would give anyone with a relative level of fitness ample time to recover. If Freddie scores a century on his return his doubters will fade as before and he will be a hero again. A question to Freddie's critics, would you have preferred Ian Botham never played international cricket?

  • 92.
  • At 07:12 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Zoe wrote:

The point Johnny, is that Freddie hasn't scored a 100 for a very, very long time, and perhaps without this stupid behaviour he might have. Don't be too hard on us critics, most of us just want what's best for him and English cricket.

  • 93.
  • At 07:37 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Johnny wrote:

Zoe, you didn't answer the question!

  • 94.
  • At 07:41 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • richard wrote:

i honestly cannot believe that you are all tea totallers who have never had a drink in all your life. i presume neither of you have gone to work hungover either! ok, so taking a pedalo out in the early hours whilst drunk is not the best thing to be doing but haven't we all done foolish things? yes, he represents our country, yes he should be making examples but lets not villify the poor guy or hang him out to dry. They have also been away since last september / october. i am not making excuses because i think freddie is a great character and makes it interesting to watch. But there is no need to be this hard on him. You didn't hear of the goings on in the rugby world cup did you? i am sure that the players were partying during that tournamet as well.
let him take his punishment and learn his lesson but can we please get behind our england teams of all sports and not just rip them apart like we always do.

  • 95.
  • At 07:53 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Zoe wrote:

So what's the rule richard? We have to support these guys no matter what they do or how they play because they're English?

What would be the point?

I watch cricket because I like cricket and like to see it played well. When it's not being played well I think I have the right to say so. That's why these blogs exist, to air oppinions, they'd be pretty dull if all we said was how wonderful our countrymen were.

  • 96.
  • At 08:07 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Bernard Smith wrote:

To all

In light of the death of Bob Woolmer should we not all take stock of the importance we all make of results. Lets get back to enjoying the winners and not be dismayed because our team lost. And if the players let their hair down do really have to ban them from playing. It's only a game remember those of us who have to work for a living. Lets all lighten up. God rest Bob and all condolences to his family. Sport first money second. Does it matter it's a lost or not a glorius win.

Bernard Smith

  • 97.
  • At 08:08 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Johny wrote:

I think Richard's comments were mearly indicating that a little perspective is required. I don't think Freddie is quite ready for the Betty Ford clinic. He is a young man who likes to enjoy himself, I'm sure he has learnt a valuable lession and hope he can use recent events to fuel a stronger more disciplined Freddie.

  • 98.
  • At 08:24 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Zoe wrote:

I disagree Bernard. One of the things I love about cricket is that it's a competitive sport. When played well it can teach both players and spectators about discipline, team spirit and determination. Yes, at the end of the day it is only a game and no one should become overly depressed about a bad performance, you should take stock and move on. But I can think of no more fitting tribute to Bob than continuing to feel passionately about cricket and perhaps taking it just a little too seriously (I know I often do). By all accounts cricket was Woolmers life, and he probably would have enjoyed joining the debate we're having today.

  • 99.
  • At 08:33 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Tony Lambley wrote:

Lots to ponder today...

... cricket is now big business, with a lot of money attached to it - and big pay days for the superstars; so it is not valid to compare the antics of Flintoff to those of yesteryear (Gower, Botham, Rodney Marsh et al). How many people remember Fred Titmus losing a big toe in an accident with a boat - also on a Windies tour.

Flintoff has 'previous' according to the management - so why on earth has he been considered for the captaincy/ vice-captaincy since the Ashes debacle. Leader of men, role model, inspirational figure he should be given his talents, but his recent efforts have not been worthy of them. In mitigation, perhaps the ECB should consider whether they have driven him to drink by giving him such an unfair burden over the winter. Why on earth was Strauss given such a raw deal after his efforts last summer......

Finally, on Bob Woolmer - very sad news and not dissimilar to the demise of Ken Barrington. Perhaps after all we should not take all this stuff so seriously.

Our kids' hero is becoming their clown... sad.

  • 101.
  • At 08:52 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • BYAAAH wrote:

freddie is a hero, he shud ave a good time because he and monty r the only good bowlers in the odi team and if he doesnt play england DO NOT WIN against the big nations so i think that he had a good night and had some pressure taken off his shoulders, so all hail the local legend named FREDDIE FLINTOFF


  • 102.
  • At 08:55 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • anthony wrote:

Listen people,

A man from the centre of cricket has just died suddenly. Let's pay tribute to a great cricketer and excellent coach, not worry about those happy enough to be unaffected.

  • 103.
  • At 08:55 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Ali wrote:

I trust the BBC most, but I was really disappointed not seeing the news about Coach Bob of Pakistan till 15:00. the rest of the world put on web site as soon as he was taken to hospital.
BBC probably only interested in coverage of ongoing match of England.

It would be nice to be able to take a poll of every last fan who has voted with their wallets by actually flying out to the Windies to support their (England) team.

Would they rather that:
(1) The team of their heroes whom they have made such commitments to support did their utmost to win matches and, after losing to New Zealand by 6 wickets, with 9 overs unbowled, went away and spent the time until the next match focused solely on working to raise their performance levels?
(2) The team that they have been paying so much to watch went out and got hammered after losing to New Zealand, apparently on the basis that 'it's only Canada next, after all, and we don't really care if we don't make the Super eight stage anyway'?

If there's anyone out there who can carry out this survey, it would be very interesting to find out the results.

  • 105.
  • At 09:10 PM on 18 Mar 2007,

See what i mean? Can't even bowl Canada out for less than 200. Bet Gazza with a pint in his hand could bowl better than this lot.

  • 106.
  • At 09:18 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Chimbo wrote:

It's not that big a deal. What is disgusting is that so called fans called the newspapers about the boys being out drinking. Cheap, sly and uncalled for.

I don't think Nixon will be too upset with Fred as one person said as he was supposedly drinking too, The very nature of drink is that you sometimes get carried away without knowing it. Quite a lot of people writing her must have been into work from time to time with whopping hangovers.

I think ease up on Fred. Maybe this is juts the best way for him to relax. I remember being out with Lara in Colombo many years ago the day before a match and his point was, much better to be out relaxing than in bed tossing and turning.

  • 107.
  • At 09:29 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • stu copeland wrote:

Leave off the man....he did what he had to do to prepare for the next round. I think this thing is getting blown out of proportion and the management should back off sometimes and let the man do what he has to do to get right for the next game.

This breeds discontent and is bad management.

These guys live and have to put up with the media intrusion every day of their lives and deserve to relax like every one else.

If you had a bad day what would you do????

I think capsising a pedilo in st lucia a cool way to relax and have a laugh before another tough game.

  • 108.
  • At 09:30 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • alphacanuckgunner wrote:

England management absolutely correct to drop Flintoff. World class professional sports has no place for drunks whatsoever.
Well done Canada for a spirited performance against a so-called world power. I can say this without prejudice because I'm English.

  • 109.
  • At 09:35 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Matt wrote:

Whilst action needs taking, when all the fuss is over the majority of us who have had too much too drink from time to time will acknowledge that "getting into difficulties on a pedalo" is a truly sensational effort!

Lets not forget he is still the man who can win matches for England either with the bat or ball.

Keep your head up Freddie, you don't deserve to be hung out to dry over this.

  • 110.
  • At 09:35 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • rowenroberts wrote:

The only negative comment Botham had to say about Freddie was not that he was out drinking until 4am but the fact that HE GOT CAUGHT!

Thanks Ian for your words of wisdom. In fact I don't seem to remember you doing too well when you captained England in the caribbean either...........

I also thought, naively, that England had come to the West Indies to try to win the world cup. Sorry I must be confused as clearly Freddie & his drinking mates see having to take time out of their 2 week jolly to play cricket as something of an inconvenience.

Give the bloke a fair chance will you. If we believe everything they write in the press we have no hope. I'm a firm believer a lot of this is hearsay and so what if the guy has had a few scoops - when did we all suddenly become perfect? If every time you or I were in the wrong it was open to a debate and scrutiny by millions there would be even less saints in the world.

  • 112.
  • At 09:45 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Desmond Brathwaite wrote:

England does not have the fire power to win the Worls Cup. After their Ashes win they have not performed to show they are winners. I think the joys of winning the Ashes has turned many of the players into drunks. Case in point Flintoff, vice-captain of the English was interviewd by a BBE correspond and was seen many times during the interview drinking a beer. What example is that to the young cricketers who adore him.SHAME!

  • 113.
  • At 09:47 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Desmond Brathwaite wrote:

England does not have the fire power to win the Worls Cup. After their Ashes win they have not performed to show they are winners. I think the joys of winning the Ashes has turned many of the players into drunks. Case in point Flintoff, vice-captain of the English was interviewd by a BBC correspond and was seen many times during the interview drinking a beer. What example is that to the young cricketers who adore him.SHAME!

  • 114.
  • At 09:57 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Batesy wrote:

Yet again our press return to their national sport! Build our stars up merely to knock them down again at the first opportunity. As has been mentioned on previous posts, YES he did wrong, Freddie has admitted it. YES he deserved to be dropped from the Canada game. OK thats now gone..let one of our only two genuine world class players get on with doing his best to propel England in this World Cup. He without doubt is a 100% trier in an England shirt and i for one wish him all the best when he returns. We all loved him 18 months ago, unlike the tabloid press i wont turn against him when he ha a slight hiccup! GOOD ON YER FRED!

  • 115.
  • At 10:46 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Andy wrote:

So our cricketers our role models are they. if you follow this thought through we will be back to Gentlelmen and players. Personally I don't care what Freddie does off the pitch as long as he performs on the pitch and all this guff about role models etc. absolute b******s. The English always have and always will enjoy a drink or three and there is nothing wrong with that.

  • 116.
  • At 10:56 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Metaphor Mike wrote:

Look, let's treat this situation for what it is - Freddie pushed the boat out, got himself into deep water, and now he's been hung out to dry.

Sounds reasonable to me...

  • 117.
  • At 11:16 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

As fellow Prestonians we have traveled thousands of miles and spent thousands of pounds to see Mr Flintoff play. We have seen a lacklustre perfomance
on Friday (ok we all have bad days) but then turn up at the ground today and no Freddie at all. So grow up Freddie & co and do a professional job or catch the Manchester flight home on Thursday.

  • 118.
  • At 02:24 AM on 19 Mar 2007,
  • Mark Child wrote:

Having watched the game today, is anyone in a position to confirm that it was just Flintoff on the sauce!! I would have thought a slightly inebriated Flintoff is better than the majorty of the current misfits. Watching our boys struggle against the mounties is no doubt a sign of things to come. We wouldn't go far wrong if we were to hire a team pedlo and point them iout to sea.

  • 119.
  • At 03:53 AM on 19 Mar 2007,
  • rannyroo wrote:

ANDY 117:

I agree with you to a certain extent - they are entitled to have a drink if they want etc - but it saddens me that they also happen to be representring their country whilst doing it. Role models? Maybe not. If they want to behave like drunken English louts on holiday, then do it ON HOLIDAY. This is the WORLD CUP - not an interschools Cricket carnival! Buck up!

And as far as Botham's remarks about post Ashes 2005 celebrations - I thought at the time that Freddie, KP, Vaughn et al looked ridiculous, staggering out of Lords and Downing street, etc. Some people thought it was funny - many others thought it was a poor display.

It wasn't good form then, so why should it be now?!!!

However, the fundamental difference between then and now, is that they had WON the Ashes in 2005.

Unlike last week, when they spectacularly didn't win anything.

  • 120.
  • At 04:20 AM on 19 Mar 2007,
  • Chris Burke wrote:

Fred mate

How soon they forget!
England sent to Australia a dysfunctional team for a major test series
England’s selectors were so inept as not to be able to even select a team leader.
England’s players not only appeared talentless but tried very hard to prove it
You were for a long while the only man in the bunch who stood up to be counted

You carried the whole bloody awful lot on those broad shoulders and managed to inspire some of the players to perform, despite their best efforts and the ineptitude management that couldn’t even provide a decent training regime let alone a player selection policy

You created the motivation, you led by example and developed the players into at least something resembling a team that was in the end, able to leave Australia with just a glimmer of pride intact.

The little people, in that very small minded country, now want to bring you down to their level. The lowest common denominator was a POM invention. O’h how POMS despise anyone with talent. They work so hard at finding and exploiting the minutest fault. They snipe and whine and take great pleasure in seeing the mighty fall no matter if that means stabbing their own in the back.

So mate go tell all those small minded talentless little POMS 'to go get a life' and come to a real country that takes pride in it’s hero’s. Become an Aussie evenjoin a proper cricket team. Aussies are a people that readily grant opportunity and appreciate talent, they stand by their representatives and supports them through think and thin.

  • 121.
  • At 09:54 AM on 19 Mar 2007,
  • Ac wrote:

I'd have punnished Freddie but I would have played him. We need our 1st choice outfit in good touch and lets face it Freddie has looked like he needs time in the middle.

I do not condone the behaviour but neither should it get in the way of our preparations for the Super 8's.

  • 122.
  • At 10:36 AM on 19 Mar 2007,
  • Ac wrote:

My view is that Vaughan and the England Management must take some blame.

There was a point where they knew half of their number were off out. That was the point to stop them or if you want go with them and bond as a team.

The tragic genius of Flintoff is so simalur to that of Beefy. Lets not put more preasure on him i think it would be nice if he could just play without the weight of expectation.

And Michael Yawn - please score some runs.

  • 123.
  • At 10:45 AM on 19 Mar 2007,
  • ac wrote:

I think those of you who question Freddie's commitment should hang your heads in shame. Never have I seen a player who cared more about playing for England.

  • 124.
  • At 10:54 AM on 19 Mar 2007,
  • Alan Thompson wrote:

Its a sad day when your best and most influencial player gets dropped and stripped of the vice captaincy for having too much to drink.Would this have happend if he and the team were still in the same form of 2005 ? I think not.For Michael Vaughan to say that he ''Owes England One''is stretching it somewhat.He has given more to England than any other player over the past few seasons.
Players are not robots.They need to let off steam occasionally.

  • 125.
  • At 10:57 AM on 19 Mar 2007,
  • Alan Thompson wrote:

Its a sad day when your best and most influencial player gets dropped and stripped of the vice captaincy for having too much to drink.Would this have happend if he and the team were still in the same form of 2005 ? I think not.For Michael Vaughan to say that he ''Owes England One''is stretching it somewhat.He has given more to England than any other player over the past few seasons.
Players are not robots.They need to let off steam occasionally.

  • 126.
  • At 11:03 AM on 19 Mar 2007,
  • Ed wrote:

I agree totally with Andy Jones (comment 1). I wouldn't mind so much if Flintoff was on top of his game but he doesn't seem to know were his next run is coming from. Even his bowling is below par. He seems down on pace and, while he is fairly economical, he isn't ripping through top orders.

Send him home. He's turning English cricket into a laughing stock.

  • 127.
  • At 11:06 AM on 19 Mar 2007,
  • Jim Forbes-Ritte wrote:

I think this is all out of proportion: I mean its not as if Fred illegally invaded a sovereign state over flawed pretences is it ?
to quote: "E's not the messiah, e's a very naughty boy!"
and besides, it probably isnt even in the same order of magnitude as Beefy's infamous antics!!

  • 128.
  • At 11:09 AM on 19 Mar 2007,
  • matthew burge wrote:

what rubbish Ian Botham talks. The celebrations post a monumental ashes performance cannot be compared to unprofessional drunken antics amidst the most important competitions in one day cricket. England are a mediocre one day side and success in the world cup will heavily depend on commitment and preparation. This sort of behaviour, whilst representing your country is unforgiveable.

  • 129.
  • At 11:49 AM on 19 Mar 2007,
  • Andrew Scobie wrote:

This is ridiculous! I think that the English cricket team should be actively encouraging a few of their batsmen to have a few drinks before they play (Joyce and Bell to name a few); it may change them from Boycott like blockers to Gilchrestian hitters! I think that it is actually in the english supporters best interest for this to happen!

In addition to this, dropping Freddy??! Even a comatosed Freddy would be at least 50% better than the rest of the English team!

Fletcher and Vaughan lighten up!!!

  • 130.
  • At 12:15 PM on 19 Mar 2007,
  • sue blue wrote:

yes freddie has made a massive mistake but i am sure he is more aware of that than anyone... He knows he let the country down but am sure more importanly hes aware he let himself and his family down

His mistake however does not make him a bad person, it just makes him human.... lets not forget that and i for one believe everyone deserves a second chance

Come on freddie, get focused and help us win the world cup - your a hero to many and true heros stand up and be counted when it really matters, you can do it!

  • 131.
  • At 01:35 PM on 19 Mar 2007,
  • mike wrote:

waht are you all going on about, who cares, let the lads get pissed. You all need to live a little more........ good lad freddie...

  • 132.
  • At 02:07 PM on 19 Mar 2007,
  • David Winstanley wrote:

Everyone is entitled to get soused once in a while; but not whilst supposedly preparing for crucial fixtures in a tournament where England's record has been dire for the last two decades. As Viv Richards says: how you behave off the field is up to you - but woe betide you if your performances suffer because of it. England's performances have been largely shambolic for so long now that there can be no justification whatsoever for carrying on like this in the middle of a tournament. I also think that the management, with their over-emphasis on players' comforts, is partly responsible for the players' current casual mentality. Let's get back to the old ethos of total professionalism.

  • 133.
  • At 02:33 PM on 19 Mar 2007,
  • Lesley wrote:

Leave our Freddie alone. For gods sake he's only human and a fantastic one at that.
I know he is out in St Lucia representing his counctry but surely that does not mean he shouldn't have a life a let his hair down, everyone else can.
We went out to St Lucia Nov 2005 and stayed in the hotel our boys are staying in now, its hard not to have a good time!
As long as he does his job, LEAVE HIM ALONE.

  • 134.
  • At 04:34 PM on 19 Mar 2007,
  • Tony wrote:

Why is everybody surprised?
At the moment Freddie cannot even stay in the crease and that is not moving,what chance did he have with a pedalo?

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