|DA Graveney, A Flintoff, IT Botham
|Sri Lanka in England 2006
Englands chairman of selectors David Graveney has come out in fierce support of stand-in captain Andrew Flintoff. He said Freddie is acquitting himself in an exemplary manner. Graveney said he was not bothered by medias criticism of Flintoff. When you become the captain, you naturally come into the media focus. Ive no problem with Flintoff who has a young family to look after. Hes doing a great job, the chairman added. England were let down by their appalling fielding in the first Test against Sri Lanka Lords. Having gained a vice-like grip on the match early on, they shot themselves on the foot by flooring catches right, left and centre. It was their poor fielding that negated their good batting and bowling efforts. After Lanka salvaged a draw thanks to a stellar performance from their tail, Flintoff was left scratching his head for the way his team lost the initiative. England have been able to win only one of their last eight Tests to prompt many pundits to question Flintoffs captaincy. The amiable all-rounder is standing in place of Michael Vaughan whose future itself is in jeopardy as a result of persisting knee trouble. Former all-rounder Ian Botham has, however, leapt to the defence of the under-fire Flintoff. Lets not get into a debate about Freddies captaincy. Hes only standing in for Vaughan. Its too early to judge Flintoffs ability to lead the side. Lets all hope Vaughan comes back soon to claim his rightful place, Botham added.