Did England cheat their way to Ashes Glory in 2005? In a shocking statement, Cricket superstar and former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff said that England cheated their way to an Ashes victory over Australia back in 2005.
According to Daily Mail UK, When Flintoff was asked by The Project host, Waleed Aly, “if England’s use of ‘gun fielder’, Gary Pratt, instead of a regular team player was cheating,” Flintoff said, “Yeah, yeah, of course it was.”
It now seems that England used a specialist fielder as a substitute in the Fourth Ashes Test at Trent Bridge on August 27, 2005, instead of using a regular team player.
As per the Brisbane Times AU, the panel was discussing about last week’s day-night test between Australia and New Zealand when the topic of substitute fielding came up. Flintoff, also nicknamed as “Freddie”, was asked about “Australia’s controversial decision to use team physiotherapist Grant Baldwin as a replacement fielder during the game after several players in the regular team suffered injuries.”
Flintoff recalled the Ashes Test match at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.
“Remember in 2005 when you got that guy who wasn’t a (selected team) cricketer but was a gun fielder and he just ran someone out,” said Aly.
“That was cheating wasn’t it what you guys did?” asked Aly, to which Freddie confirmed it was.
Flintoff did try to retract his statements later by posting on the microblogging site, “I cheated I bowled too fast & hit the ball too hard before knickers are twisted I appear to be joking.”
Garry Pratt who was used as a substitute fielder, played for county Durham for six years and was considered to be an exceptional fielder. He was never part of the English official team. Garry Pratt run out then in-form Australian Captain Ricky Ponting at a crucial point.
Ponting did complain to match officials claiming, “England’s use of a specialist fielder was ‘not within the spirit of the way Test cricket or Ashes cricket should be played.” Australia lost the Ashes series 2-1.