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'Drink soured Canada win'

Vaughan says English players had put themselves under a lot of pressure by having a night out before the match.
Reuters | By Mark Meadows, Gros Islet (st Lucia)
UPDATED ON MAR 20, 2007 01:56 AM IST

England captain Michael Vaughan said that Sunday's World Cup win over Canada had been made much harder by some of the players going on a late night drinking session two days earlier.

Allrounder Andrew Flintoff was sacked as World Cup vice-captain and dropped for the Group C game after he and five other players were fined for breaching team discipline following the six-wicket defeat by New Zealand on Friday.

"With the incidents on Friday night, we put a lot of undue pressure on ourselves," Vaughan told a news conference following the 51-run win which put their campaign back on track ahead of the final group game with Kenya on Saturday.

"On the Saturday all the players realised what they had done and they were all angry with themselves. Hopefully a victory today and us winning on Saturday and having a decent run in the World Cup is the only answer."

Flintoff issued a statement apologising for his actions and is available for selection against Kenya. Vaughan said there had been no thought about sending him home.

"Freddie, I would have guessed, could have played today and done very well. That is Andrew Flintoff, he is an immense talent," Vaughan said.

"But drinking two nights before any game, you are certainly going to have some sort of actions on your body or your mind because it is still in there sometimes.

"Unfortunately, incidents like this have taken one of the greats of the game out of today's game."

Vaughan denied there was drinking culture inside the squad but said the episode may bind the team together. "It could do. Only time will tell," he said.

Canada captain John Davison said England definitely missed Flintoff's presence and he was pleased with how they competed. His side contains only one full-time professional.

"We put them under a bit of pressure. The England attack missed him in the middle stages," he said.

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