ECB officials defend Flintoff, Harmison’s nightout

February 12th, 2009 - 7:24 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Feb 12 (IANS) Senior officials of the England and Wales Cricket Board(ECB) Thursday defended England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff and fast bowler Steve Harmison’s night out in a cruise ship just a few hours after their teams’s humiliating defeat by West Indies in the first Test.
They then flew back to Kingston by helicopter the next day, an adventure England’s managing director, Hugh Morris, knew nothing about until Tuesday.

Spending a night away from the team hotel without permission from the tour leader is a fineable offence.

But Morris said the players had the permission of the captain, Andrew Strauss, and operations manager Phil Neale.

“Both Andrew Flintoff and Steve Harmison were invited aboard a cruise ship and they sought permission to go, from Andrew Strauss on the cricket side of things, and Phil Neale on the operations side of things and they were granted permission,” Morris was quoted as saying Daily Telegraph.

However, there was no suggestion of bad behaviour or of Flintoff getting drunk as he did in the Caribbean during the last World Cup. “I’ve spoken to some people aboard the cruise ship and they said they behaved impeccably,” said Morris.

“Everybody was bitterly disappointed with the result in Jamaica, none more so than the players,” said Morris. “It’s certainly not a case of players not caring at all. Flintoff and Harmison were asked to dinner and that permission was granted. It was no reflection of the hurt they were feeling.”

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