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Nipper's lesson for Flintoff

Clarence the crab cartoon warns West Indies pupils not to booze and bowl

if only Freddie Flintoff had visited some West Indies schools before the late-night drinking spree that landed him on newspaper front pages this week.

Schools in the Caribbean are capitalising on the World Cup taking place on their islands, by introducing cricket into subjects throughout the curriculum.

The "Clarence Goes to School" programme, named after a crab, includes a play, which is not believed to involve pedalos but does include a demonstration of the adverse effect of alcohol on people's ball skills.

The Clarence the crab lessons were first introduced three years ago and are based on the England and Wales cricket board's curriculum resource, Howzat. This suggests incorporating cricket into core subjects and gives teachers information about cricket terminology, the history of the sport, game rules and player statistics.

In Barbados, Wendell Coppin, a West Indies cricket board development officer, is overseeing a major cross-curricular schools competition to coincide with the World Cup. i"The rules are simple," he said. "Select a World Cup country, produce some quality work in the classroom and our judges will decide who has done the best."

So, in art, children make trophies from shoeboxes and cricket balls from bamboo sticks. In geography and history, projects are based on some of the West Indies' great players or opponents.

Meanwhile, Flintoff has been stripped of his vice-captaincy following the late-night drinking session in St Lucia after a defeat by New Zealand and just 48 hours before playing Canada.

The hero of the 2005 Ashes series made a public apology for the incident, which involved him being all at sea with a pedolo.

England play Kenya in the final group match tomorrow, which they have to win to be sure of progressing to the next stage.

The West Indies have already made it into the Super Eight stage, beating Pakistan and Zimbabwe.

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