Piers Morgan has waded into the England Ashes squad announcement on Twitter, and to be fair, he does have a point, for a change.
The Good Morning Britain presenter tweeted this morning that, although he likes Stokes as a player, he doesn’t necessarily agree with the decision to let the 26-year-old keep hold of the vice captaincy.
“I love Ben Stokes, but how can he keep vice-captaincy?
“Flintoff was sacked as England V-C for getting on a pedalo, not punching people.”
26-year-old Stokes is under investigation for an incident in Bristol following England's victory in the city against the West Indies.
In September 2014, former England all-rounder Flintoff told Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, which was broadcast on ITV, that all he wanted was a nightcap with Ian Botham and tried to get out to sea on the pedalo to find the boat he thought Botham was on.
“We’d played New Zealand on the Friday, the first game of the World Cup, and things hadn’t being going well,” the League of your Own captain said at the time.
“We’d just come off the back of the Ashes [whitewash defeat under his captaincy in 2006-07], and I was so desperate to do well in this World Cup.
“I went out, I got a duck, out first ball actually … then I didn’t get a wicket, and then we got beat. I went back to the hotel room … I thought: ‘I’m not going out’ …
“But I was in my room, I was smashing the room up, I was gutted and then I thought: ‘I’m going to go out for a bit.
“About 1.30am I thought: ‘I’m hammered here, go home.’"
What happened next?
“I had to walk partially across the beach. For some reason I had this idea these boats out to sea – it sounds bizarre – but I knew Ian Botham was on one and I thought: ‘I’m going to have a nightcap with Beefy.’
“I thought: ‘I can’t swim ... that would be dangerous,’ so I was going to get a kayak.”
Thankfully for all concerned, Freddie did not get that far and woke up confused in his hotel room with the door knocking and thinking it was one of the hotel maids – it was his head coach Duncan Fletcher.
“I couldn’t find the oars, so I dragged this pedalo into the water.
“The next morning I woke up, I was on my bed and … still wet and … sand between my toes.
“Then the door knocked. The door had these slats, and I thought it was the maid wanting to clean the room. So I said: ‘Can you come back?’
“But it was the coach. I pulled the slats down and answered the door, and then Duncan just said: ‘My room – now.’”
What happened next is still what Flintoff considers to be the most embarrassing moment of his career.
He had to hold a press conference at the other side of the hotel and apologise to England fans who made the trip to the Caribbean to see England play.
“It was a real low point …
“I had this press conference and walked across the hotel reception – and the England fans, who were only months previously cheering my name and high-fiving me … were shaking their heads. I couldn’t make eye contact with them and I thought: ‘This isn’t good.’”
The drunken incident also led to Flintoff losing the England V-C, whilst Ben Stokes, who is being investigated by Somerset and Avon Police on an accusation of ABH, is still England VC.
You can see Piers Morgan's tweets about Stokes below.
Different eras perhaps, but surly an ABH investigation is far worse than a pedalo ride in the middle of the night?
As I said, different eras, eh?