Relieve extra burden on Flintoff : Fletcher

Published: Monday, April 17, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London:England coach Duncan Fletcher is desperate to have regular captain Michael Vaughan back in the team so that Andrew Flintoff is relieved of the extra burden of captaincy, which would allow the inspirational allrounder to play his natural game.

''We need Michael back as captain as well as a player. He is a very successful captain and very inspirational,'' Fletcher told BBC Five Live.

''That is not to say Flintoff is not, but I am just concerned that we are asking too much of Andrew,'' he added.

''He has done well as stand-in captain but as an allrounder he has enough on his plate bowling and batting well.'' Flintoff took over as the captain of the side against India, following Vaughan's pull out because of a nagging knee injury, and cancelled his plans of taking a short trip home to witness the birth of his son.

The England coach said though the talismanic player fulfilled his duties well it would not be fair to add to his responsibilities.

''Ideally, with Michael probably back, it lessens the burden on Andrew and can free him up to play the exciting cricket he plays,'' Fletcher explained.

Speaking of Vaughan's admission that he might have to quit ODIs to save his Test career, Fletcher said it was completely Vaughan's call as to what he wanted to do in future but he would be disappointed if he sacrificed the shorter version of the game to prolong his Test career.

''He could come back and be fine,'' Fletcher said adding, ''When I last spoke to him a week ago he seemed pretty upbeat, but it seems to be a case of two steps forward, one step back at the moment.'' ''It is a very difficult decision to make and only Michael can make that. It depends on the advice he gets from the medical people," he added

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