Guardian and Vaughan in war of words

The Guardian tonight entered into a war of words with the England cricket captain over the accuracy of its reporting of an interview with Michael Vaughan in which he was reported to have criticised Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff over the pedalo incident during the World Cup in the Caribbean.

Flintoff, of course, was the iconic hero of the England team’s Ashes victory over Australia in 2005, leading to his collecting the SJA’s Sportsman of the Year award, while Vaughan accepted the Team of the Year award that year for the second successive time.

But tonight, the newspaper has denied Michael Vaughan’s suggestion that he was misquoted in his interview with Donald McRae, published in yesterday’s newspaper.

Speaking earlier today, England’s cricket captain claimed he “never used the word ‘Fredalo’,” in the interview, adding: “One word changed the whole context of the article, a word which I didn’t say. Incredibly in the piece, it didn’t mention I openly admitted that I didn’t captain as well as I can, I didn’t manage the situation as well as I could and I didn’t play as well as I could. So if I was blaming anyone for a World Cup fiasco, I was blaming Michael Vaughan.”

Tonight, however, the Guardian decided to publish parts of Vaughan’s interview online to prove its case. In a statement, the newspaper said: “Having examined transcripts it is clear his contention that he did not use the word ‘Fredalo’ is incorrect”. The newspaper even published a link to the recording of the interview on its website, here.

“Equally, his claim that the piece did not include his reflections that his captaincy was not ideal is also untrue. Quotes to this effect appeared in the sixth paragraph of the piece on the front of the sports section that day.”

Vaughan was responding after criticism of his comments for possibly damaging team unity, and

Earlier, Vaughan said he “was very sorry for what had happened” but his comments had been “blown out of all proportion”.

Read the original Vaughan interview by clicking here.