The truth is out. England’s non-performance in this year’s World Cup had nothing to do with their cricket – it had to do with their inability to hold their drink. In particular, the inability of a certain Andrew Flintoff to hold his drink.
Oh, what a deliriously delicious possibility! If only Freddie had not slipped off a pedalo, England would have been the World Cup holders today. Thus spake Michael Vaughan, that unquestioned master of the one-day game, that Mike Brearley of the one-day game (in terms of being in the one-day team mainly by virtue of his captaincy), to the Guardian.
Freddie’s antics seemed to have had such an impact on the team that even the captain and coach Duncan Fletcher were not spared.
I was more tense than I’ve ever been as a captain. Duncan Fletcher was more tense than he’d ever been as a coach. And sometimes the captain and coach have to look at the way they're acting because the team follows. I didn’t captain as well as I should’ve done because of the pressure I put myself under. I’d admit that. But I couldn’t switch off because away from the field there was so much going on - with Bob Woolmer and ‘Fredalo’.
Now we know what it takes to make Vaughan a great captain (and England, a world-cup winning team) – a Flintoff standing on his two feet. Australia, Sri Lanka and others – please watch out.