LONDON - England's cricket team had to cancel a practice session on their last tour of Australia because captain Andrew Flintoff had been drinking, former coach Duncan Fletcher has reportedly claimed.
Britain's The Sunday Telegraph today said Fletcher, who was replaced by Peter Moores in May, makes the allegation in his autobiography, Behind the Shades, which is set to cause a storm when it is serialised in the rival Daily Mail newspaper this week.
Fletcher said Flintoff had let him down with his drinking during this year's World Cup in the Caribbean and on the Ashes tour of Australia in 2005-06.
"Obviously I had to mention the pedalo business, so I had to put it into the context of what had gone on before," Fletcher told the Daily Mail.
"I've supported a lot of players and I supported Andrew but then he drank again at the World Cup after what had happened in Australia while I was taking a pasting.
"If he does ring me when he sees what I have written I will say, 'At the end of the day, Fred, you let me down in an area that you had real control over'."
Flintoff, who has denied having a drinking problem, was stripped of the England vice-captaincy when he fell off a pedal boat, or pedalo, during a late-night drinking session after his team's World Cup loss to New Zealand.
He was among six England players fined after the incident, which came less than 36 hours before their match against Canada, for which Flintoff was sidelined as additional punishment.
At the time, former England skipper Nasser Hussain hinted at earlier indiscretions by Flintoff, saying: "There is a history to this story. In Australia he had three or four warnings about his drinking."