England cricket coach denies Queenstown ‘holiday’


England’s cricket coach has hit back at suggestions Queenstown has once again been the undoing of his country’s sportsmen.

Andy Flower denies claims his team saw its time in the resort as a holiday.

England played a warm-up match at the Events Centre before making a slow start in its Test series against The Black Caps.

While the cricketers avoided indulging in the same much-publicised excesses of the England rugby team, they enjoyed activities such as canyon swinging (pictured), golf and helicopter rides during their week-long stay .

“There were some comments about a so-called holiday camp the team had in Queenstown,” Flower says, according to British media.

“I think that’s inaccurate because I encourage the guys to get out and do different things.

“I think they should experience the different cultures and we are lucky enough to immerse ourselves in the tour.

“Obviously in Queenstown we need to keep people physically safe, but we don’t want our players to sit in their hotel room and spend repetitive hours on the internet, watching movies or slobbing around.

“It is a poor reflection on people if they criticise players for being inquisitive and curious about life outside the tour hotel.”

Former England captains and commentators Geoffrey Boycott and Michael Vaughan had said the team’s poor first-innings batting and drawn Test in Dunedin suggested a care-free attitude and the need for better preparation.

Kiwi cricketers Jeetan Patel and Daniel Vettori apologised last week after it was revealed an alcohol-fuelled altercation with a pub bouncer in Queenstown was the reason Patel was unable to take the field against England in the four-day warm up match.

But the incidents pale in comparison to the antics of the English rugby team during the 2011 Rugby World Cup, which included drunken dwarf tossing and captain Mike Tindall’s infamous cavorting with a woman.