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Flintoff claims he was shot at in Delhi

Press Trust of India

Posted: Sep 21, 2005 at 1304 hrs IST

England's Ashes hero Andrew Flintoff has revealed in his latest autobiography that he was shot at during a One-Day International against India at New Delhi in 2002 but the incident was swept under the carpet.

"I felt something hit me and, looking down, saw pellets on the ground," Flintoff wrote in his book Being Freddie, extracts of which were published in The Times here today.

"You expect to have plastic bottles thrown at you when you are playing on the sub-continent, but you don’t expect to be shot."

It was the famous 'Flintoff rip-off' series when Nasser Hussain's England came from 1-3 behind to level the six-match series 3-3.

The match in question was the fifth One-Dayer at the Feroze Shah Kotla ground on January 31, 2002.

Flintoff cracked three sixes and a four for his 39-ball 52 and then picked one for 41 in seven overs as England clinched a narrow two-run victory over the Indians.

Flintoff had later take off his jersey in football-style celebration in the sixth and final One-Dayer at the Wankhede in Mumbai after England's series levelling win.

That aggressive gesture had seem out of line then and even sparked a retaliatory performance by Indian captain Sourav Ganguly who bared his chest on the Lord's balcony after overhauling England's target of 326 in the NatWest series final.

But in the light of Flintoff’s revelation, it could be accepted as a rattled mind trying to shake off the haunting memories of the Kotla incident.

Flintoff said he was upset that he was asked to play down the incident by the team management.

"Nasser Hussain got very heated about it in the middle and Phil Neale, the tour manager, came to find out what was going on, but the whole thing seemed to get swept under the carpet," he wrote in the book.

"There was a big story back home to do with crowd disturbances, but Andrew Walpole, the ECB's media relations manager, told me to play the incident down when I was interviewed the following day.

"Looking back now, I think I should have made more of a stand because I wasn’t there to be shot at. We explained it away as the crowd just being over-excited at the time, but I wasn’t sure about that at all."

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