Harmison defends Freddie, says criticism unfair

Published: Thursday, May 18, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London:Amazed as to why Andrew Flintoff's leadership credentials are being questioned due to one bad result, Steve Harmison came out in defence of the stand-in skipper saying that it was unfair to single him out for criticism.

''It's amazing that people can have a go at Freddie,'' Harmison was quoted by the Daily Telgraph as saying.

''At the end of the day we scored 551 for six declared and made enough chances to have taken 40 wickets. It's just that we didn't take them,'' he added, recalling the disappointing draw against Sri Lanka, which saw his team drop nine catches.

Flintoff's captaincy has come in for sharp criticism by the media here after the match with many leading dailies saying that the allrounder's honeymoon as the leader of the side was over.

Former captain Geoff Boycott, who till recently hailed him as future leader, also came up with scathing remarks saying that the talismanic player was complacent and laidback during the match and allowed the game to slip away from England's grip.

However, Harmison, a close friend of Flintoff, rejected the criticism and said people have been looking for excuses to turn on the heat on the Ashes hero and the draw ''People have been waiting to have a go at Freddie,'' he said.

''But in the last 18 months, he has not put a foot wrong. There's only one England captain in my book and that's Andrew Flintoff,'' he added.

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