LONDON, Oct 31 (Reuters) Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott has branded ex-national coach Duncan Fletcher a hypocrite after revelations in his autobiography about Andrew Flintoff's drinking antics.
''There he was taking the moral high ground at every opportunity. As soon as he finishes, what does he do? He gets stuck into Flintoff,'' the outspoken Boycott said in his Daily Telegraph column today.
Fletcher, whose book is being serialised in the Daily Mail this week, said he had to cancel an Ashes tour training session last year because then captain Flintoff arrived under the influence of alcohol.
''It's a bit rich from someone who has made such a big deal about not 'talking out of school'. Fletcher is a hypocrite and he should be ashamed of himself.'' Fletcher steered England to a memorable 2005 Ashes victory over Australia but England were thrashed 5-0 in the return series and then performed poorly in this year's World Cup where Flintoff was disciplined for drink-related incidents.
Boycott, a regular critic of Fletcher, said Flintoff had not been offered the kind of support he needed as captain.
''In Australia it was Fletcher's job to help Flintoff.
What's the point of being coach if you don't deal with these situations,'' added Boycott.
''The allegations levelled at Flintoff are seriously damaging. If they are true then Fletcher fell down on his duty.'' Flintoff's father Colin has also hit out at Fletcher's comments.
''The golden rule is that what goes on in the dressing room stays in the dressing room,'' he said in the Daily Mail.
''Fletcher has betrayed Andrew's confidence and broken that rule.'' Fletcher stood down after the World Cup and was replaced by Peter Moores. Flintoff is recovering in the United States after a fourth operation on his suspect ankle.
REUTERS HSB KP1758