Flintoff bats for IPL to improve one-day skillsNovember 25th, 2008 - 9:27 pm ICT by IANS
London, Nov 25 (IANS) Jolted by the demoralising series defeat against India, all-rounder Andrew Flintoff said England will be left behind in one-day cricket if they do not play in the Indian Premier League (IPL).As England are 4-0 down with three games to play, Flintoff has joined his teammates in stressing the benefits of IPL Twenty20 competition that he feels has impacted the one-dayers in a big way.
The message could not be clearer, both for the ECB chief executive, David Collier, who will continue negotiations with IPL representatives during the Champions League in India next week, and for the England coach, Peter Moores, whose recommendations about how much England players should be released will bear most weight.
“We’ve come against a strong, strong side (India),” Flintoff was quoted as saying in The Guardian.
“They have outplayed us in every department. They look very well drilled. I think that by playing a shorter form of the game they have developed new skills with bat and ball and we’ve been found wanting. They have definitely taken their game forward.”
“They scored 380-odd in the first game - and with proper batting as well. It was a tremendous display of hitting and they are obviously very confident. Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma have developed skills like slower balls and yorkers and I’m sure playing the shorter form has developed those skills.
“A few of the England players are keen to go to the IPL. One thing that has been mentioned is financial reward but I think you look at players’ development as well. With the Twenty20 World Cup coming and a lot more one-day cricket it would be good if the lads had a chance to play in it.”
England players did not feature in the first edition of IPL and the series against Sri Lanka in May is blocking their way for next year’s competition.
Flintoff and co. will get a fortnight at the IPL at best and they may argue that there is not a huge amount to be gained in that time.