Fletcher defends Fred tales
Former England coach defends book revelations - Flintoff to captain England again.
Last Updated: 05/11/07 9:51pm
Fletcher: Happy with book
Duncan Fletcher says he has no regrets about spilling the beans on Andrew Flintoff's drinking during the Ashes tour in his controversial autobiography, although he does now say he thinks Flintoff could captain his country again.
Fletcher reveals in his book 'Behind The Shades' that Flintoff turned up for a training session in Australia too drunk to take part, despite being the England captain at the time, and forced the coach to cancel the session.
All this came before Flintoff's infamous incident including a pedalo during the World Cup in the Caribbean the following Spring.
Fletcher has no problems with his comments in his book revealing the training incident in Sydney, but does add that he thinks Flintoff could captain his country once again in the future.
"I have concerns about the level of debate that's been reached," said the former England coach.
"I wanted to be loyal to him (Flintoff) but loyalty should be two-way traffic.
"I felt let down after the pedalo affair. I just felt that I linked it directly to what had happened in Sydney, and just felt let down in such a serious situation.
"I was under enormous pressure to suddenly do something dramatic. You are in the position where you don't know what the outcome is - it's an uncontrollable situation.
"I thought that loyalty to Andrew at that time was the way to carry on, to reprimand him and win this one-day series.
"If the pedalo affair hadn't taken place there's a very good chance we would have carried on managing Andrew and the situation would have looked after itself."
Fletcher does think though that, if he can get over his continuing injury problems, Flintoff could once again be England captain.
"I see no reason [why not]," he added.
"If that foot lets him bowl as well as he can there's no reason he shouldn't captain down the line."
Fletcher defended his actions on Monty Panesar and Chris Read, who both struggled for regular appearances under Fletcher.
"People have interpreted a personal thing that I have against players like Panesar and Read," said the 59-year-old.
"All I am trying to do is be very specific.
"I've always felt a finger spinner should be able to bat and field and I would rather pick a batter wicket-keeper than a keeper-batter and he must be the pulse of the side.
"[The wicket-keeper] has got to be in the batsman's ear now and again - that's what all great wicket-keepers do."
Fletcher insists that despite his revelations he would still be respected by his players should he get another job in international cricket - which is his aim.
"Everything I have written about is out in the open.
"From my point of view, I am quite proud of the record I have got.
"Hopefully, they would look and say we want to be a successful team, and which coach has been successful?"