|Player:||DA Graveney, A Flintoff, IT Botham|
|Event:||Sri Lanka in England 2006|
DateLine: 25th May 2006
England’s chairman of selectors David Graveney has come out in fierce support of stand-in captain Andrew Flintoff. He said Freddie is acquitting himself in an exemplary manner. Graveney said he was not bothered by media’s criticism of Flintoff. “When you become the captain, you naturally come into the media focus. I’ve no problem with Flintoff who has a young family to look after. He’s doing a great job,” the chairman added. England were let down by their appalling fielding in the first Test against Sri Lanka Lord’s. Having gained a vice-like grip on the match early on, they shot themselves on the foot by flooring catches right, left and centre. It was their poor fielding that negated their good batting and bowling efforts. After Lanka salvaged a draw thanks to a stellar performance from their tail, Flintoff was left scratching his head for the way his team lost the initiative. England have been able to win only one of their last eight Tests to prompt many pundits to question Flintoff’s captaincy. The amiable all-rounder is standing in place of Michael Vaughan whose future itself is in jeopardy as a result of persisting knee trouble. Former all-rounder Ian Botham has, however, leapt to the defence of the under-fire Flintoff. “Let’s not get into a debate about Freddie’s captaincy. He’s only standing in for Vaughan. It’s too early to judge Flintoff’s ability to lead the side. Let’s all hope Vaughan comes back soon to claim his rightful place,” Botham added.
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