Sunday, 9 November 2008

Flintoff - Captain Needs Support

Andrew Flintoff the England all-rounder feels that a captain needs all of the support he can get, especially when things are not going well. The former England captain seems to have felt very alone during his tenancy as captain during the disastrous 2006/07 Ashes whitewash in Australia.

Calling the aftermath of the 0-5 loss, against the Australians, as the lowest point of his career, Flintoff said that he often felt isolated in the eye of growing criticism while his teammates were busy fending for themselves.

"When we were getting hammered out there, it was a lonely one as well. Blame was flying in all directions and a lot was assigned to me. What happened then was that self-preservation kicked in among some of the players. It was human nature, they started looking after themselves and retreated into their own groups," said Flintoff.

"In hindsight, the captaincy was one job too many for me. I felt isolated. It was the lowest point of my career and, having been through it," said the 29-year-old all-rounder who is currently in India preparing with England for a seven ODI and two Test tour.

Every cloud has a silver lining which England and current captain Kevin Pietersen could benefit from. Flintoff's traumatic experience as captain will prevent the same thing from happening again, indeed Flintoff has pledged his full support to current skipper Kevin Pietersen so that he does not have to go through the same trauma that he went through in Australia.

"I would never let a captain I played for go through that experience. Kevin has started brilliantly and the team have responded. But he has to be ready if things start to go wrong," Flintoff was quoted as saying in the 'Mail on Sunday'.

"Being captain of England is a great job, especially when you are winning. But when you are struggling, it is tough and you can't just do it from 9am to 7pm. It is with you all the time and it plays on you. I hope it never comes to it, but if things start to go wrong I'm going to make sure KP doesn't stand alone."

Kevin Pietersen can rest assured that he can rely on the support of Andrew Flintoff when the chips are down. Flintoff will no doubt rally all of the men behind Pietersen when the time comes, which should make the unit far stronger and harder to beat.