Flintoff lets rip at Atherton
Former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff has launched a foul-mouthed attack on Michael Atherton, his former Lancashire and England teammate who now works as a cricket pundit. Flintoff, speaking to the London Evening Standard at a Sky TV party on Tuesday, criticized Atherton’s work as a Sky commentator and cricket correspondent for the Times newspaper. “He’s a prick,” Flintoff said of former England captain Atherton. “He’s a fucking prick. He sits there making judgements about players that are much better than he ever was, believe me, he’s a prick. How can he talk about a player like Alastair Cook, who is 10 times the player he ever was? He has a much bigger average and will go on and on. Atherton averaged in the 30s for England and yet he thinks he can judge others.” Asked if he wanted his comments taken as “off the record,” Flintoff replied: “I don’t care. Say what you like. There’s no love lost there.” When opening batsman Cook was made England’s one-day captain last year, Atherton, himself a former opener, described the left-hander as a “plodder” with the bat and a “donkey” in the field. However, Cook, still only 27, has a superior Test record with 19 hundreds in 80 matches at an average of nearly 49, compared with Atherton’s 16 centuries in 115 Tests at nearly 38. Atherton’s relationship with Flintoff is said to have become strained when in 2006 he wrote: “The only positive benefit of the injury to Flintoff may be the end of his immediate captaincy ambitions.”
Zimbabwe fall by 6 wickets
Zimbabwe failed to build on their stunning win over South Africa and fell by six wickets to Bangladesh on Thursday in a non-cap Twenty20 tournament. Much was expected of Brendan Taylor and his team after they shocked strong favorites South Africa by 29 runs on Tuesday, but a total of 149-8 off 20 overs proved insufficient at Harare Sports Club. Bangladesh, needing a win to retain a chance of making the final tomorrow, responded with 153 for four off 17.3 overs to give recently appointed England-born coach Richard Pybus his first win in charge of the Tigers. South Africa played Bangladesh yesterday and face Zimbabwe today, and the top two finishers in the table qualify for the final of the unofficial tournament, as it falls outside the future tours schedule.
Aussies get ‘war room’
Australia’s athletes and coaches will have 24/7 access to a “Green and Gold” war room during the London Olympics, where their performances can be analyzed and scrutinized with the latest video and computer technology. Rather than rely solely on facilities provided by the hosts, the Australian Olympic Committee and the Australian Institute of Sport will operate a performance analysis center deep within a sponsor-owned building adjacent to the main London Olympic Park. “For the first time ever our Olympic athletes will have access to the technology and specialist staff they need at the Games to enhance their performance, and ensure they peak at the right time to boost our medal tally,” Australian Sports Minister Kate Lundy said. Scientists and staff at the national sports institute in Australia’s capital will also be monitoring the data collected in London. The Green and Gold room will be able to cater for more than 50 people at a time and will even have rollout beds for staff who might need to work through the night. The 400-plus Australian team will also have access to a recovery center nearby.