It cost him his vice- captaincy. England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff and five of his team mates were disciplined following a drinking spree less than 48 hours before their second match in the World Cup, against Canada.
It was apology time for Flintoff, who addressed the media feeling embarrassed, ashamed and very sorry for what had happened and the over entire hullabaloo following the incident. He indulged in what he called ‘an incident involving water and a pedalo’. He and his five companions, James Anderson, Jon Lewis, Ian Bell, Paul Nixon and Liam Plunkett were the other players fined and banned for playing against Canada, which the team won without them. Though Flintoff was a step ahead of his five teammates in the wrong act that put even his life in danger. He had to be rescued.
Recalling his responsibility as a representative of his nation in the world cup, he said;
There are responsibilities on and off the field and I want to adhere to that. It’s a huge wake-up call for me but from here now I want to get my career back on track. Something like this is never ever going to happen again. I’ve learned a great deal from the last few days, how much I enjoyed playing for England. Missing games through injury is one thing; doing so through these circumstances is something I never ever want to repeat.
Now, Flintoff hopes to be included in the next game against Kenya on Saturday, in which only victory would keep England in the remaining tournament.
He further said;
I desperately want to perform. I feel I let the team down over the weekend. All I can do is apologise.
This time he is feeling down and out. Whether Flintoff’s intended lifestyle change is in reality or for a short-term public relations exercise remains to be seen.
Though such incidents have taken place in the past too, involving players of repute, yet lessons are still to be learnt. No matter who gets fined or a match ban, but it’s the game of cricket that is let down. The players must be made responsible for every act they commit. Afterall, it is the nation that they represent. Players should make every effort to come out with flying colors for their country.