Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Cricket: Freddie's Down ... but Not out; Revelations 'No Bar to International Future'

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Cricket: Freddie's Down ... but Not out; Revelations 'No Bar to International Future'

Article excerpt

FORMER England coach Duncan Fletcher insists Andrew Flintoff drinking misdemeanours should not affect his international future.

But Fletcher will not be the one holding out an olive branch to the all-rounder, after the revelations in his book Behind the Shades.

Fletcher revealed details of Flintoff's drinking while he was captain during last winter's Ashes tour, and the Lancashire star was stripped of the vice-captaincy at the World Cup after being drunk on a pedalo in the early hours.

"If Andrew phones me we will have a discussion and clear the air, put both sides of the story across," said Fletcher.

But asked if he would make the first move, the Zimbabwean added: "No, I think it is important that Andrew rings me.

"There are certain things that I can't disclose. It would be important that he phones me."

However, Fletcher said Flintoff should still have the chance to captain his country once more.

He said: "I don't think there is any reason why it should be held against him. There are a lot of factors at picking a captain. If a situation arises where there is no one else then you have got to really look at Andrew.

"He needs some experience. He is a very inexperienced captain in cricket, let alone Test cricket.

"But as long as he has learned from his mistakes, why hold it against him?"

SRI LANKA Cricket will wait until the national team return from their Australia tour before taking the "necessary disciplinary action" against Marvan Atapattu, following his outburst against the selectors.

Despite having just been recalled for the tour down under, veteran batsman Atapattu branded the selectors "muppets, headed by a joker".

Following a committee meeting, the SLC have released a statement confirming they will not disrupt preparations for this second Test but feel "distressed and disappointed" and will act upon his return. …

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