Vaughany says ~~Fredalo remarks~~ blown out of proportion

Published: Sunday, June 17, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Manchester:England captain Michael Vaughan said Wednesday his remarks about Andrew Flintoff's drinking exploits at the World Cup had been blown out of all proportion.

Vaughan insisted that he, rather than all-rounder Flintoff, had played a major role in the team's failure to reach the semi-finals in the Caribbean.

Vaughan, in an interview with Tuesday's edition of Britain's Guardian newspaper, said Flintoff's now notorious escapade, which culminated in him being found on a pedalo at 4am in the morning after their opening group match defeat against New Zealand in St Lucia, had damaged the side.

He was quoted as saying: "You have to be honest: the 'Fredalo' incident did affect the team. It did affect morale.

"I like to see players enjoy themselves but no one would dare go out after that incident - and you can't create any spirit then."

However, Vaughan said he had never used the word 'Fredalo' as he wouldn't want to single out an individual for an incident which saw six players in all disciplined for late-night drinking.

Vaughan, speaking at Old Trafford where the third Test against West Indies starts on Thursday, said he still had a good relationship with Flintoff.

"I'll be having dinner (lunch) with him in an hour's time. It (the article) has been blown out of all proportion. One word changed the whole context of the article, a word which I didn't say.

"Incredibly in the piece, it didn't mention I openly admitted that I didn't captain as well as I can, I didn't manage the situation as well as I could and I didn't play as well as I could. So if I was blaming anyone for a World Cup fiasco, I was blaming Michael Vaughan.

"I never used the word 'Fredalo'. As soon as you mention that, you are pinpointing one person," explained Vaughan, who marked his return to Test cricket after 18 months out injured with a century in England's innings victory at his Headingley home ground which saw them go 1-0 up in the four-match series against the West Indies.

"We are good mates," added Vaughan, who shares an agent with Flintoff. "I have a huge amount of respect for Andrew Flintoff."

Asked who was paying for their lunch, Vaughan replied: 'Probably me'.

As has been the case all series, England will be without Flintoff, who would have been appearing in front of his home crowd, underwent his third bout of surgery in as many years on his troublesome left ankle last week.

Vaughan said his position with the rest of the England team hadn't been affected by the article. "The team looked at it and laughed. We've all been very honest about our own performances at the World Cup and they didn't make that article. It hasn't affected our preparations at all."

The top-order batsman, who plays for Lancashire's arch-rivals Yorkshire, said he hoped the article wouldn't affect his relationship with the crowd.

"We always get a great response here and I hope to get the same response this time."

England are set to field an unchanged side as they look to go an unbeatable 2-0 up in the series with one to play.

Victory would also see Vaughan become England's most successful Test captain of all-time, breaking the record of 20 wins he currently shares with Peter May although he has been in charge for 34 Tests compared to May's 41.

"I haven't really thought about it to be honest. If that moment happens this week, great but more importantly we will have won the series," Vaughan said.

This will be Manchester-born Vaughan's first Test at Old Trafford since he scored 166 against Australia two years ago.


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