Andrew Flintoff was against the England and Wales Cricket Board's decision to sack Peter Moores as England coach. A row between the captain Kevin Pietersen and Moores led to both men losing their positions within the England camp earlier this month. Pietersen had demanded the ECB remove Moores from the job after the Hampshire batsman concluded he could no longer work with the coach, who replaced Duncan Fletcher following the 2007 World Cup.
Flintoff, who was assumed to have been one of Moores' biggest supporters within the England camp, has now admitted he was sad to see the former Sussex coach leave. "We had a sense of what was happening out in India and the one thing with Kevin, which I've said to him, was: 'As a captain, as a player, I'll support you.' "The way I played proves that," the Lancashire all-rounder, Flint-off, said in an interview in The Observer newspaper in England.
"I didn't want him to finish. I thought he could have given himself time to grow into the role. "But I couldn't support him in not having the coach there, because I had a good relationship with Peter Moores, and I was open about that with Kevin, with Mooresy and Hugh [Morris, England cricket's managing director]. "To be fair to Mooresy the one thing he's kept is his dignity, because he's a good man."
Flintoff revealed that Andrew Strauss, who has replaced Pietersen as captain for the upcoming series with the West Indies, held an England team meeting this week to try to unify what has been described as a divided squad. "Straussy wanted everyone to get together so if there were any problems it could be done and dusted before we meet up. There weren't. "It lasted about 45 minutes, then we had lunch and went home," he added.
Flintoff captained England on tours of India and Australia, but the all-rounder insisted he did not want to be considered for a return as skipper. "As a player I go home and switch off. As a captain I couldn't. It was with me all the time. And that affected me. It affected my mood. It's not something I'd want to do again." Meanwhile, Strauss has spoken of his delight at the support he has been given by Pietersen since he took over the role from him earlier this month.
"I talked to Kevin a few times and I've been very, very pleasantly surprised by his attitude," Strauss told the BBC. "He clearly is very passionate about playing for England for a long period of time. "He recognises that what's happened and the way things have happened is unfortunate. He loved captaining England so I suppose not being captain will take a while to settle in. "But I think first and foremost he's an incredible batsman and I've got no doubts whatsoever he's going to go out to the West Indies and score millions of runs and prove what a strong character he is as well."
* With Agencies