2009 Ashes. Australia v England. 2nd Test. Lord's. Day 4. Andrew Flintoff appeals unsuccessfully for the wicket of Brad Haddin.
2009 Ashes. Australia v England. 2nd Test. Lord's. Day 4. Andrew Flintoff appeals unsuccessfully for the wicket of Brad Haddin.

Flintoff: ‘We broke the rules too’

FORMER England captain Andrew Flintoff has issued a ball-tampering warning to some of his more vocal ex-teammates 'don't be chucking your stones lads'.

Former captain Smith, his deputy David Warner and teammate Bancroft were all banned for attempting to alter the condition of the ball during the third Test in South Africa last month, a series the home side eventually won 3-1.

Cricket Australia banned Smith and Warner for a year, with Bancroft suspended for nine months.

When asked if he considered the punishments were fair, Flintoff told the BBC: "No - I think the crime doesn't warrant that. "One of the things which has really annoyed me is that I've seen people raising their profile on the back of other people's misery.

"I've seen people I've played with, who have been good to me; I have seen them change in the space of two seconds.

"All of a sudden (they say) 'let's call for their head, this is disgusting, this is disgraceful'.

"Some of them are in glass houses: don't be chucking your stones lads. We've done a few things which aren't particularly in the rules - not as bad as that - and it changes.

"Then I saw Steve Smith on TV crying his eyes out, so upset, and I put a tweet out saying: 'Are you happy now? Is that what you wanted'?"

 

DON'T TELL ME STARC DIDN'T KNOW

Flintoff also dismissed suggestions the scandal was limited to banned trio Smith, Warner and Bancroft.

Flintoff is convinced other players in the team would have known about plans to tamper with the ball and said he had great sympathy for the banned trio. "I am struggling to think that not everyone (in the team) knew," Flintoff said.

"I might be completely wrong but you talk about it - you talk about how you're going to treat the ball. The ball in cricket is so important.

"To say that a bowler has got a ball in his hands, or anybody else in the field does not know that this ball has been tampered with is absolute nonsense.

"You talk and talk and talk about how you're going to look after this ball. To then say that other people didn't know; if that's the case I feel sorry for Mitchell Starc.

"He's got the ball in his hands, he's running in thinking, 'he's Wasim Akram'. This ball's moving everywhere, he's thinking, 'I'm cracking it here, I'm doing something which is unbelievable'. Don't tell me you didn't know."



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