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Flintoff says sorry

Martin Gough | 20:52 UK time, Monday, 19 March 2007

Martin GoughSt Lucia - On a rainy Monday morning after the weekend before, the strip of hotels, bars and restaurants in Rodney Bay – the resort a 10-minute drive from Beausejour cricket ground – had a hungover feel to them.

The Rumours nightclub, where six England players partied with fans until the small hours of Saturday morning, was closed and looked an unlikely site for an international incident.

The chain of events that saw the players fined, with Andrew Flintoff stripped of the vice-captaincy, was pretty much out in the open.

And Flintoff, the main protagonist, was in contrite mood as he apologised to the nation.

Flintoff and Fletcher face the mediaIn fact he had to apologise three times, as there were separate briefings for broadcast and print media, then an interview with Jonathan Agnew for the BBC’s highlights programme.

Wearing a crisp England polo shirt, flanked on one side by media manager Andrew Walpole and on the other by coach Duncan Fletcher, Flintoff sipped water.

He did not look like the behemoth who roars when he takes a key wicket for his country.

He did not show the self-confidence bordering on cockiness that he displayed in a news conference the day before the defeat to New Zealand.

He looked healthy and increasingly refreshed as he unburdened himself.

Was the Sunday newspaper report correct in its claim Flintoff needed to be rescue from the sea after a drunken mishap in a pedalo?

There was some “poetic license”, he said.

“There was water and there was a pedalo. It’s not something I want to get into. It’s something I’m embarrassed about and ashamed about.”

Was he in danger at any point? “I don’t think so,” he said firmly.

However, he did not try to wriggle out of blame for his part in a night out that went too far with England’s second World Cup match just hours away.

And being prevented from playing against Canada clearly opened his eyes to the severity of pushing an evening out too far.

“It’s been a horrible few days, sat trying to find the scores off the telly and not being involved,” he said.

“Missing games through injury is one thing but missing them through circumstances like this is something I never want to go through again.

“Something like this is never going to happen again. I’ve learned a lot over the last few days.”

rumours203.jpgFlintoff has always been the people’s champion, which made it all the more significant that England fans had contacted newspapers back home when they saw players out past their bedtimes. This was an event staged for the media but fans watched through the windows as he faced the press and gathered round as he held his TV interview.

When he had finished he walked through the hotel lobby to a round of applause.

“I know it’s going to take time to regain people’s trust but it’s something I’m very keen to do,” he said.

And people are very keen to forgive their hero.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 09:20 PM on 19 Mar 2007,
  • Gary Myers wrote:

We all make mistakes, but we learn from them and that makes us stronger. Hope he regains the vice captaincy soon and captaincy in the future as England needs him. This will just make him a stronger person.

  • 2.
  • At 09:25 PM on 19 Mar 2007,
  • John Manger wrote:

I am sorry that Freddie and the others have humiliated themselves but I am deeply suspicious of their contrition: I think they are upset because they were caught out, not because of their infantile behaviour. How old are they? Nixon et al? They are not babies, they have a job to do, and I am certain that neither the South Africans nor the Australians would behave like these English players did during a tournament - afterwards maybe, but not during. Sorry to say, but this rather cavalier, not to say arrogant, attitude by some English players is what led to the Ashes disaster: what are all those coaching and backroom staff supposed to be doing? How about they start earning their money and get the team into winning shape?

  • 3.
  • At 10:12 PM on 19 Mar 2007,
  • shan wrote:

come on give a guy break, men do once in while when they are not happy about the job there are doing. he is local hero, and heroes do these things out their characher. i like the block and by the way i am from india and now i live in calefornia and except bbc news on internet, i do not get any new about WORLD CUP CRICKET.

  • 4.
  • At 10:16 PM on 19 Mar 2007,
  • John Martin wrote:

This is not Freddie's first offence. Let's hope that some firm management (for a change) has made him see sense.

He's too good a cricketer to let his weakness for a good booze up ruin his contribution to the cause.

My guess is that he will emerge with greater motivation and that England will ultimately benefit.

  • 5.
  • At 10:22 PM on 19 Mar 2007,
  • Mark Creasey wrote:

It is about time that someone has had a kick up the backside for the slapdash way in which they have been treating their cricket over the last 6 months or so. I thought that footballers were stupid, but what the hell were they thinking about? What did they have to celebrate anyway? The performance against the Kiwis was pathetic. I am not suprised that it was some of the English fans that grassed them up, I would have been royaly pissed off if I had spent thousands to go out there and seen half the squad out on the piss after a performance like that.

Anyway, that said, Flintoff has been punished and apologised and that should be an end to it.

  • 6.
  • At 11:22 PM on 19 Mar 2007,
  • Broadband wrote:

Hey John Manger, the Aussies are always on the drink, Andrew Symonds has been in trouble a few times in the past for getting in late. We're all human beings not robots. The guys apologiesed, lets move on

  • 7.
  • At 11:31 PM on 19 Mar 2007,
  • Pat Doyle wrote:

A bad thing to do under the circumstances, but Fred's only human and still is an effective player but may not be captain material. Having said that, if one were to look back over time, I remember the great Keith Miller once arriving at the crease with bloodshot eyes and a hangover and proceeding to smash the England bowling all over the field. It's done by many others too.

I drank my first few pints after a match when I was 19.....eventually ended up at 36 playing village cricket and lowering many pints after a match against a local village. I used to try and bowl fast and worked up a huge thirst. Now at 74 I still have the thirst but can't get my arm above my head. And SHAN I now live in Canada where there is no coverage of cricket. I have complained to the media but they are Ice Hockey nutters so I know how you feel.

  • 8.
  • At 11:51 PM on 19 Mar 2007,
  • Tim Green wrote:

Everyone makes mistakes, lets take this as a blessing in disguse. He's a) going to be more focused now than ever; b) the pressure of the vice captency has been removed and he can get on and do what he does best: getting wickets and playing explosive cricket

  • 9.
  • At 01:12 AM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • shahid shah wrote:

The fine and one match ban was ok. But to strip him from the vice capt was not good idea. One should not forget that he loves captaincy and also shows more commitment when he is captain. Remember his sacrificing of the birth of his second child. He would have missed that second test in india if he was not captain. Similarly in australia he kept on playing even with his troubled ankle. He virtually played all the ashes and the commonwealth series and the reason was that being a captain he didnt want to miss the game. Otherwise he would have gone home because of injury just like anderson, Lewis.

If we want to see Freddie playing regularly for England then the best thing would be to keep him as the vice captain. By giving him the responsibility will make him more responsible. He is once in a generation kind of player. so it is important to make sure that he remains committed. Otherwise he will be lost like Trescothick and Harmison.

  • 10.
  • At 02:51 AM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • chris briggs wrote:

Let's just remember the man is a living legend. He virtually won us the ashes in 2005 and I won't begrudge him a few beers. It never seemed to hurt Botham and when he was interviewed the other day I think he understood the need for a release of tension after the appalling start against New Zealand.
That said, I agree his timing was appalling and they should all know better than to "get on the sesh" when there is so much media attention. The game has changed and they are all "professionals" now with kids looking up to them, Freddie being the most in the spotlight.
I believe the punishment metered out was right and has hurt like hell. It will only serve to resolve his mood. Lets hope he starts performing with the bat again and continues with the ball. Come on Freddie, let's see a massive ashes 2005 type performance.

  • 11.
  • At 05:27 AM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • Eric Khong wrote:

Flintoff a living legend? Wot a load of cobblers! Yes, he is a fine cricketer - but honestly he simply does not perform consistently. Look at his recent record - erratic performances punctuated by boozy episodes.

Freddie's head was as probably as fragile as the England team at the moment!

Apology accepted, lets hope he makes amends with the rest of the England team.

  • 13.
  • At 07:32 AM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • Ralph Brooker wrote:

I don't condone Andrew Flintoff's behaviour and fully support the England management actions.

If the issue is about how a professional cricketer should prepare for an international match of such importance, then compare Mahendra Singh Dhoni's preparations following their defeat to Bangladesh.

Am I mistaken or has he coloured his hair since that defeat? It was 'au natural' jet black during the Bangladesh game. It's now a 'mousey brown' with 'highlights' to lift the colour of his eyes, and (if I'm not very much mistaken) tints to give that youthful 'two-tone' look.

How long did it take? Did Rahul Dravid help? Was Greg Chappell umming-and-argghing about which colour MSD should go for? Did he have his nails done whilst he was at it? And did he get a complimentary latte?

Anyway, it seems to have worked. I thought he looked lovely in the field against the 'Merbudans' (one of Sky's John Wright's verbals).

If it wasn't for the professionalism and raw talent of the likes of Vusi Sibanda (Zimbers) and Tamim Iqbal (Bangers) this WC would be tending towards pantomime status.

For my money Bangladesh have given the best team performance that I've seen so far. And Sibanda is turning out to be a real star.

As for Andrew Flintoff, at least he's man enough to give a sincere apology.

Oh well. Roll on the Test match season.

This is an altogether silly tournament.

The question that BBC and other journalists have to answer is this - why have you been covering up what has been going on in the England team? Aggers said on the Today programme today that it is Duncan Fletcher who needs to answer some questions - and so he does. But so do the hacks. I cannot believe that Aggers and the others who have been following England in recent times have not known about the culture of drinking. So why have they kept mum? Surely the fans are entitled to know if there are off field problems that can affect England's performance? It is difficult to avoid the suspicion that some in the media centres (many former England captains amongst them) are just too close to the players and don't want to "sneak". A good public school ethic at Uppingham or Manchester Grammar no doubt - but hardly proper journalism.

  • 15.
  • At 08:32 AM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • Carol wrote:

Please, let's get this in perspective. Consider the working man, who needs to get to work on Monday morning. Are you telling me that he's not allowed to go out on the razzle on Saturday evening, 30 hours before? If not then, when?

Also, my instincts tell me that, far from making a drunken exhibition of himself before his adoring fans, it might have been the adoring fans leading him astray. I am sure that if any normal supporter saw his heroes enjoying a quiet drink in the bar of my hotel, he'd be inclined to buy them all drinks. Wouldn't you?

So give Freddie a break, for heaven's sake. Humph.

  • 16.
  • At 09:55 AM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • james stephens wrote:

Flintoff is an over-hyped media hero lacking in professionalism who has a flashy sketchy talent that occasionally pays dividends. His erratic behaviour off the field demonstrates a basic insecurity about himself and his ability. Cricket is a team game where individuals bond together in a common purpose. Flintoff's solipsistic remarks made to demonstrate supposed atonement betray this ethic and show that he is incapable of progression.

  • 17.
  • At 10:01 AM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • Yvonne Iles wrote:

All cricketers are very special athletes. they are like ballet dancers they train hard and sometimes they play hard and do things that are not very good for their well being. The poor chap made a mistake and overdid it. He has learnt his lesson. Maybe in the light of Woolmer's death and the stress related circumstances someone needs to think about some counselling person added to the team for these men both young and old?

  • 18.
  • At 10:22 AM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • speedy wrote:

sorry flintoff haha

  • 19.
  • At 10:22 AM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • Chris Welch wrote:

Fletcher has reacted too late to stop the night out and too late to save his own neck - he is the manager not the players so he is responsible for his lack of managerial control.

Freddie did wrong but the England management have very short memories to take the vice-captain's job off him.

With Vaughan absent with his knee problems, England were heading for a total shambles of a tour. Freddie eventually got hold of the team and won the one day series.

Vaughan comes back as captain and in his first competitive match, England lose again. If he thought about things, Vaughan must have been very embarrassed.

Freddie's action came at an ideal time to deflect the criticism of Vaughan's captaincy and off course Vaughan could not restrain himself from putting the boot in to assist in the remove his rival.

  • 20.
  • At 10:47 AM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • Loafer Steve wrote:

He will learn from his mistakes!? Shouldn't he have learnt his lesson after the all the late night boozing and subsequent poor form and thrashings we received in Oz? Oh no of course his boozing wasn't in the media spotlight was it?
It all reminds me of the alcoholic that tells everyone he's suddenly cleaned up his act; ummm? ...time will tell.
I've participated in many endurance sports over the years and I know if you deprive yourself of sleep, fill yourself with booze and poor diet you won't perform anywhere near your peak. Flintoff knows that but chose, not for the first time it appears, to put boozing ahead of playing for England, respect for the fans, team mates and his position of responsibility, which earns him a good wage and lifestyle.
He's not on his own; it's a sad reflection of the immature binge drinking culture we have in Britain.

  • 21.
  • At 12:48 PM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • Jim Harvey wrote:

To the tune of Lou Bega's JUST A GIGOLO:

It was just a pedalo, but everywhere I go
People say that I’m not playing
Fletcher is askance, This is my last chance;
The ECB are saying.
On that fateful day, I got carried away,
I knocked back too much chablis
He will bowl a little slow, but thanks to that pedalo;
Ravi goes on without me

I’ve lost the Vice Captaincy
Nobody. Nobody cares for me
I fell in the Carribean Sea
Won’t some sweet Monty come and rescue me
Cos I ain’t so bad

I’ll sober up, I’m no young pup, I let everyone down
In the end though you know, it was just a pedalo
And England are sunk without me!

  • 22.
  • At 01:24 PM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • Sean Weller wrote:

I think James Stephens comment about Flintoff having an occasional 'flashy sketchy talent' is a bit strong, and aside from his batting, of which Im not the biggest fan of [can be flashy, but match winning],his bowling is incredibly consistent and unique, bowling a quick heavy ball like no other current fast bowler! He is not a living legend, but could well be, I really think people use the term 'legend' much too much, sportsman are generally not legend before the age of about 40, apart from exceptional cases like Lance Armstrong. I also think James Stephens needs to be less reliant on a thesaurus when constructing a sentence on a message board...only joking mate

  • 23.
  • At 02:57 PM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • Nige wrote:

At least we are up staging the Aussies in the off the field antics - Shane would be proud of us!

  • 24.
  • At 03:14 PM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • Phli Donaldson wrote:

In defense of Andrew Flintoff the man has the expectations of a whole nation on his shoulders as he is considered one of Englnds' only world class performers. With expectation comes pressure and is it not surprising that like so many in this country, due to our binge drinking culture, the man resorts to alcohol as a means of winding down. Given his poor performance on the day against the standards he has set himself and the nation has set him is it also not surprising that his disappointment and certain commentators finger pointing has lead to drinking binges. I for one feel sorry for the nations big superstars as we seem to knock them down and expect great things at the same time.

Straus, an excellent and responsible captain, was replaced by rthe irresponsible Flintoff for the Ashes series. The detrimental effect on Straus' performance is understandable and obvious. One more example of poor man-management...

  • 26.
  • At 04:16 PM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • Gina wrote:

Just because the Aussies do it doesn't mean the English cricketers should. We need to win and to do that we need to raise our game. Drinking and staying out until the small hours of the morning is going to mess up any chance.

They are supposed to be professional athletes and they are representing England. I do not want those people playing for my country. If it was swimming (my sport) then they would have a strict curfew and if they didn't stick to it then they are screwed!

Should have been sent home!!!

Shock News
Site Rating: 10
Comments: The committee have met to consider punitive action against some club members after an incident likened to pedaloegate in the west indies. Dave(wolfie) Leighton was seen at 3am near the marine lake with an inflatable ring and actually had to call for assistance on the new club phone, no one took a call as he had not switched it on and he was merely shouting very loudly "come on lads help me with my ring", it was lucky spoons,roberto and ctc were on hand to help, their inflatable sharks,sheep and giraffes had all gone down on them and they were tired and emotional too.Club Coach tom carter strangely located in the same area on completely unrelated business was heard to wail "its still stinging,when will my hair grow back lads??". The committee will be handing out formal punishments in due course
This is a spoof from Rhyl Hockey clubs website. If you play team sport you have to play as well,Freddie behaved like an idiot and has done so before. Let it lie and concentrate on winning some games. Paul Nixon has been brilliant Mal Loye should be there too instead of M Vaughan -he cannot seem to do it in ODI's.Loye is different and experienced, we have too many younger players in there what did Hanson say- you never win anything with kids-oh yeah he got that wrong .Lets win and celebrate again and see Freddie in Trafalgar Square sipping tea and singing hymns again!!!

  • 28.
  • At 04:52 PM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • jimbob wrote:

i believe that players should be allowed to drink after matches to a certain extent. they shouldn't be locked away in their hotel room playing scrabble!!
i think that freddie like other players enjoy a drink or tow and if he hadn't of fallen off the pedalo then there wouldn't be such a hubub about it!!
i think that players should be able to have a drink and he has obviously learnt his lesson!!

  • 29.
  • At 05:14 PM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • Ben Millis wrote:

These guys are out in the West Indies, yes they are representing their country but they are alos displaying the social side of cricket. After a match there is nothing better than going to the pub for a drink with your team mates and the opposistion. After a defeat you may need to spend a little longer in the pub than normal!

  • 30.
  • At 05:14 PM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • shaun daly wrote:

should of been sent home?Gina you are joking right? cricket is a little bit different 2 swimming. cricketers actually have supporters and are seen as idols!!!!!!! where was the last swimming idol?

Friddie is a cricket hero of our time.i suppose everyone that has put negative comments about him have always been on the straight and narrow? they would also turn down a free drink from your fans?

Leave the man alone.........when he is having a drink from winning the world cup final its a complete different matter isnt it?

  • 31.
  • At 05:14 PM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • SG wrote:

Outrage from fans that England's stars had even ventured out of their hotel must be tempered by the fact these players have spent at least seven months in the last 12 in hotels. - HAH I live in a hotel pretty much 12 months a year - and have done for nearly 9 years now, have a stressful job, and have yet to turn to drink in the evening. excusing themselves with - we did it after the ashes is not legitimate either - the Ashes at least had finished when that binge occurred. Like all sports people representing their country Freddie is held up as a role model to the young - someone to be emulated. This incident - the most recent in many, proves he has gone too far.
the management are right to have no curfew etc, these men are adults and should behave as such, or they will lose all respect they ever had, and it won't just be Freddie who suffers but the reputation of the whole team.

  • 32.
  • At 05:21 PM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • Simon in Japan wrote:

Please be reasonable. Look at the last few months that England has endured. Many a star of reputable record has had a few a few beers and been lauded for it and yet they do not live with the stress that Flintoff and the rest of theee boys have lived with over the last few months. What can we do? let them relax in a fashion that most people would do anyway? remember these are humans and heck I say good on them ... don't do it all the time but remind us lesser mortals that these stars are but the same as us but with skills we envy

  • 33.
  • At 05:32 PM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • james stephens wrote:

I see Michael Vaughan has managed to fall down a pothole and twisted his knee.

Is there no end to the mishaps we must endure before the overwhelming might of Kenya puts us out of our misery?

So Vaughan might not play: ok. Collingwood for captain then- but what about his deputy:

Flintoff /Nixon / Bell/ Lewis/ Anderson/ Plunkett obviously not adult enough.

That leaves Pietersen: nope - not a team player.

Ed Joyce - nope - no brains.

Dalyrymple: not really worth his place.

Monty perhaps or then again perhaps not.

Mahmood and Bopar are not really leadership material which leaves, of course, Strauss who cannot get into the team at the moment.

  • 34.
  • At 06:12 PM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • jo johnson wrote:

no problem freddie! all you need to do is get a 'fifer' or score over 50 and we'll forget everything and you will once again be our blue eyed best all rounder in the world. and this includes the press of this country.
we should either accept them, for what they are (which is, well paid youngsters who enjoy a night out) and stop whining about their behaviour or make sure they don't represent our country again. this vehement criticism one day and unconditional love the next is stupid!

typical british sportsman... that why we never win anything

  • 36.
  • At 06:49 PM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • mike wrote:

Well done Freddie, at last somebody with some character. Not as some of your colleagues yes man automatons.
Maybe we can now have a real sport loving team, playing in the spirit of competition and enjoyment.
Keep it up and have one for me !!!

  • 37.
  • At 07:33 PM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • Tim Heywood wrote:

Wow - just seent he Aggers interview with Flintoff in the confessional. I'm struggling to see why the poor bloke has to wear sackcloth and ashes over this. If his off field behaviour affects his on field performance, then he'll get dropped (and rightly) on the basis of the stats. If he's representing the UK, then, given the way most 20somethings behave on a Friday night in Kiddemrinster, he's representing us pretty well. To say he has to behave differently becuase he is representing us, is an admission that we are ashamed of the culture that has developed here. If we are ashamed, let's do something about it without jeopardising the chance of sporting success on the field. if we're not ashamed then lets enjoy it.

Andrew, you don't have to apologise to me. Just keep hitting that ball and those stumps.......

  • 38.
  • At 07:45 PM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • Carly wrote:

I think that everyone is over reacting all he did was get a bit drunk and get on a pedalo. Are all you people who are slagging him off saying that you've never been drunk and done something stupid?? you all need to get a life there are worse things than getting drunk and having a laugh!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 39.
  • At 07:59 PM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • Gill Masters wrote:

Am I the only person who doesn't rate Vaughn. Now we hear that he was instrumental in getting the vice captaincy taken away from Flintoff, seems more like self preservation to me than outrage!

  • 40.
  • At 08:37 PM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • Laurie wrote:

Am I the only one who finds the press just a teensy weensy bit holier-than-thou here? I'm not whitewashing Flintoff, but to read some of the rubbish written by journalists (and others) you'ld think they had never been near the stuff themselves. Seems to me that the 2000-year-old admonishment that the man without sin should cast a stone applies rather well here. And I have a sneaking suspicion that the average sport-journalist would quietly disappear - just as the first audience did. Perhaps everyone who does any sort of sports reporting should publish an unexpurgated account of their own lives. We might just get some balanced comments then.

  • 41.
  • At 08:49 PM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • Scottish Boyo wrote:

So Freddie has a few beers and grabs a pedalo
and needs to be rescued. It's nothing new Jimmy Johnstone did it off Largs in a rowing boat before the football World Cup finals. For the team's sake let's hope that Freddie gets back on form now that he realises his are not sea legs but made for running on dry land.

  • 42.
  • At 08:58 PM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • Pete G wrote:

The bottom line is that fred's a match winner. Without him i can't see us winning the cup. I think that this time he's learnt that he crossed the line, and hopefully for england, he'll be more focused in the future. But why on earth is he taking all the blame??! Yes he's a leader, but there backroom staff as well as other players on the razzle that night. So who is more foolish; the fool or the fools who follow him?

I don't think Fred should be vice captain anyway - he should lead by putting match winning performances in, and leave the rest to someone like vaughan or collingwood. I'm sick of england just appointing captiancy to the star player at the time.

“I know it’s going to take time to regain people’s trust but it’s something I’m very keen to do,”, “Something like this is never going to happen again. I’ve learned a lot over the last few days.”, “It’s been a horrible few days, sat trying to find the scores off the telly and not being involved,” “Missing games through injury is one thing but missing them through circumstances like this is something I never want to go through again." “There was water and there was a pedalo. It’s not something I want to get into. It’s something I’m embarrassed about and ashamed about.”

He seems to be sorry at missing games as he actually says that.

“I know it’s going to take time to regain people’s trust but it’s something I’m very keen to do,”, “Something like this is never going to happen again. I’ve learned a lot over the last few days.”, “It’s been a horrible few days, sat trying to find the scores off the telly and not being involved,” “Missing games through injury is one thing but missing them through circumstances like this is something I never want to go through again." “There was water and there was a pedalo. It’s not something I want to get into. It’s something I’m embarrassed about and ashamed about.”

He seems to be sorry at missing games as he actually says that.

What is clear this and other apologies from the team are meaningless. Flintoff not once says what he is apologising for directly.

He and others take full responsibility without once saying what mistake they made (they don't even mention drinking) and what in context it was a mistake.

Sadly we are left with a pile of standard PR cliches clearly memorised but the over riding impression being caught and punished is what hurt. In all the 15 mealy mouth sentences the former stand in captain mouthed he said not one piece of information or insight into his failings other than he was sorry and he had let people down - although he did not say how or recognise how he had he just had.

The 1984 speak is of course creeping into punditary, journalism and mouthing memorised lists now passes for analysis so maybe that is all they know.

In my day you apologised for something not just because you felt you had to to a standard script. seriously he could have been apologising for driving too fast or a jape too far on a colleague or an insult.

Nixon took responsibility as well although he was not clear what for.

they don't mean it. They got caught that is what is wrong.

  • 45.
  • At 10:04 PM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • avinash wrote:

Hey raiph brooker, ur comments are irrelevant and out of context, remember we are talking about Andrew Flintoff.

true the england management banned him, it would have been interesting to know if the same thing would have happened if we were playing against kenya.

dont discount Andrews captaincy chances yet... its better to be lead by a man with 3 centuries than none

  • 46.
  • At 10:58 PM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • Gwyn Williams wrote:

It may not be the right behaviour but cricket, like other popular sports in Britain, has an historic association with booze.

I recall the late great J B Statham relating how he and Frank Tyson, both dehydrated by long sessions in the field at Adelaide (I think it was), sat under cold showers during the lunch and tea intervals drinking cold beer. To say nothing of the widely known after and early hours exploits of Sir Garfield Sobers and some of his colleagues before test matches. In both cases, it didn´t seem to affect them too much.

In the Caribbean, the fast bowlers would sweat out the beer in a matter of a few overs so you could even say they perhaps needed the extra liquid, although the lack of sleep could be detrimental to performance. Even so, I can´t help having some reservations about the the sanctimonious public and press that have been so quick to denounce and condemn. They are, after all, just high spirited young men and Flintoff gives the impression he would be a riot to have a few beers with.

  • 47.
  • At 11:06 PM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • Nick wrote:

Have you not heard the story about Geoff Boycott and Raymond's Review Bar?

Freddie's antics are extremely tame in comparison...

What a sissy Vaughan can be.

He should do his talking with his bat. He always was a bit of an ass. Constantly making poor shots after good starts. He is supposed to be the backbone of this team. God help us if that is as good as it gets. Pieterson does the same thing...poor judgement after sparkling beginnings.

  • 49.
  • At 12:02 AM on 21 Mar 2007,
  • Martin Gough wrote:

Laurie, I don't agree at all. Most of the coverage I have read focusses solely on the fact that these players were out drinking at a time when it would affect their performances with a game imminent.

What they do in their private lives is their own concern. When it impinges on their ability to be at their best for their country it is in the public interest and journalists, whatever their own predelictions, have a responsibility to report it.

  • 50.
  • At 12:17 AM on 21 Mar 2007,
  • senthil wrote:

What freddie did withouth doubt was the greatest blunder he did after post ASHES 2005.Being a giant as he is you dont expect such a irresponsible behavious like that .But champion cricketers always redeem themselves(LARA,GANGULY) the only way he can do it is by bailing him and his team out by hitting the opposition. I am sure that he is capable of it and he would do it .Its time everyone forgives freddie and start backing him up

  • 51.
  • At 02:40 AM on 21 Mar 2007,
  • chris briggs wrote:

Don't try and tell me that Andrew Flintoff is not a legend. He would walk into any team in the world and if he played football would be a damn sight more reliable role model than those idiots Beckham, Rooney, etc.

Admittedly his form with the bat has not been good since 2005, but I would say his bowling has improved. He led an under-cooked team which was half the side of 2005 against an Australian side the likes of which we will probably never see again. Every time he goes on the pitch he gives 150% and you can see it. If only Ian Bell had half his talent he might be a half decent player.

He was a bad boy, he apologised. Now lets get on with stuffing the Kenyans.

  • 52.
  • At 07:54 AM on 21 Mar 2007,
  • dazarama wrote:

Can you imagine the sledging Fred's going to cop? "Hey Fred, fancy a pint?" Or, "Skipper letting you play today Fred?". Or "Look out fellas, here comes the Pirate of the Pedalo!"

  • 53.
  • At 10:29 AM on 21 Mar 2007,
  • chris waugh wrote:

If there was a number of players involved in this who were they and what "punishment" did they get.

We only hear of Andrew being on the pedalo but if they were all out til 3am they are all equally to blame and not just one person.

To strip Freddy role as captain is beyond a joke. Even if they were still drink on Saturday morning that dont mean a thing,l as long as they go to the match on Sunday with a clear head that is all that counts.

If people live their lifes like this no-one will be able to drink.

The way this is going, today is wednesday if you were going to drive on friday you CANNOT drink and get totally drunk tonight as you have to have a clear head on Friday. FOR GOODNESS SAKE its over 30 hours away. Its beyond a joke

This just says how this country is going around everything (WRONGLY)

you dont hear football managers kicking off 30 hours before the FA CUP Final because the captain of one team is to drunk to stand 2 days before the match so why make such a deal about it with cricketers.

England had the same problem in the world cup last year, we got drunk, there was trouble but no-one got punished like this. Its going from bad to worse, at the end of the day they are professionals we all get drunk once in a while so whats the BIG deal with Freddy Flintoff. Yeah he got drunk after we won the ashes and yea so was I and Yes I did go in to work with the smell of drink on my breath and did I get in to trouble? did I get sacked or anything else? NO so why should anyone else.

  • 54.
  • At 11:28 AM on 23 Mar 2007,
  • Gina wrote:

Looking at this from a SERIOUS athletes perspective and not just a SOCIAL one, it seems that many people here do not understand what it takes to win at that level. I have high ambitions in my sport (swimming - see my post above) and to make it I have decided to give up drinking. I haven't had a drink in well over a year and I am doing way better in my sport than before.

Basically, what I'm saying is you need to be focused especially before and during the most important competiton of your life. Athletes think they can lead a double life where they are saints on the pitch, in the pool or on the track and sinners off it, but that is not the case. I'm all for a big piss up AFTER the very last race or match but not during.

Drinking to help stress is ok if it's one drink but alcohol just makes problems and stresses worse. It's not a good excuse to me!

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