England ready to drop Freddie during Ashes

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/f/flintoff1_ap.jpg' class='caption'> England captain Andrew Strauss said on Tuesday that Andrew Flintoff was not immune from being dropped for disciplinary reasons.

Updated: June 30, 2009 15:03 IST
  • Total Shares


England captain Andrew Strauss said here on Tuesday that Andrew Flintoff was not immune from being dropped for disciplinary reasons after the all-rounder's latest indiscretion.

Ex-England captain Flintoff missed the team bus for the squad's on Saturday morning visit to the World War One trenches at Ypres.

Strauss, who made a big point about player responsibility when appointed captain in January, also revealed there had been several other incidents of players turning up late since he'd become skipper.

Opening batsman Strauss found himself having to comment on Flintoff's failure to turn up on time after it was reported in the British press on Tuesday.

The incident, which happened the morning after a team dinner, took place during England's pre-Ashes 'bonding' weekend away in Belgium and just over a week before the first Test against Australia starts in Cardiff on July 8.

It was not the first time the 31-year-old Flintoff had courted controversy for his off-field behaviour.

During the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean he was briefly dropped from the England side and stripped of the vice-captaincy as punishment for an alcohol-fuelled night which ended with him capsizing a pedalo in the early hours of the morning in St Lucia.

Prior to that the Lancashire star, when captain of England, was sent away from training by then coach Duncan Fletcher after turning up to a practice session in Australia during an Ashes series his side lost 5-0.

Strauss, asked at a news conference at Edgbaston here on Tuesday, if he would be prepared to drop Flintoff - the star of England's 2005 Ashes series win - on disciplinary grounds, replied: "That has got to be an option with anyone who transgresses badly enough.

"But I am absolutely certain it's not going to come to that and it would be a very sad day for English cricket if we had to do that.

"But it's vitally important to a team functioning properly that everyone is treated the same."

Australia all-rounder Andrew Symonds was sent home before last month's World Twenty20 in England because of an alcohol related incident.

Opening batsman Strauss, asked to describe Flintoff's relationship with alcohol, replied: "I don't know, that's something for him to answer. I think it's something he's been working hard on.

"I think he recognises when the times are to drink and when they are not to drink. It's important clearly, career-wise, he stays on the right side of that and I think the vast majority of the time he has done."

Concerningly for England, Strauss revealed that Flintoff's was not the only lapse in time-keeping by a member of the squad. "He missed the bus but punctuality has been a bit of an issue recently with a few players.

"We had a team dinner, alcohol wasn't banned, but there's no reason to suspect anything massively untoward happened."

Strauss, who refused to name names, added: "It's something we are trying to iron out and we've taken steps to make sure it doesn't happen again. Freddie accepts he's made a mistake."

The England captain also declined to reveal if Flintoff, who last played a Test in February before being sidelined by a knee injury, or any other player had been fined, saying only: "The appropriate action has been taken.

"He (Flintoff) knows he musn't do it again and I think the other players who have been letting things slip in that respect know it's not acceptable going forward."

Flintoff has only recently returned to the England squad and Strauss said: "We all know that if he is playing well in the side he's a massive asset to have but at the same time we don't want 'one rule for one and one rule for another', so it's important we have that consistency in how we treat people."

For the latest Cricket news , Score, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and get the NDTV Cricket app for Android or iOS

  • Cricket
  • Edgbaston, Birmingham

Leave a comment