Flintoff looking to extract his best from IPLApril 7th, 2009 - 9:47 pm ICT by IANS
London, April 7 (IANS) England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff is excited to be a part of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and feels the experience in the shorter version will benefit his team in the Twenty20 World Cup in June.
The Lancashire all-rounder has signed up for two weeks with the Chennai Super Kings and will earn $1.5mn on a pro-rata basis depending on the number of matches he plays for his new side.
Flintoff is one of a number of leading England players, including Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Owais Shah and Ravi Bopara, who will feature in the world’s most high-profile Twenty20 tournament, which has been moved to South Africa because of elections in India.
Flintoff’s participation had prompted fears of extra overload for him but the all-rounder, who has been dealing with injury problems, believes IPL will be the perfect stage to help him reach his peak this summer.
“It’s been frustrating with the hip injury, thigh injury and getting hit on the thumb just before the end of the tour of the West Indies and I think the IPL will be good for me,” said Flintoff. “There are a few people putting it down but playing should help me out a lot. When I stop and start is when my body is at its most vulnerable.
“I know I’m only bowling four overs a game, but it will give me a chance to work on my game in between games going into a Test series and I will be working with top facilities out in South Africa.”
Being part of IPL also give him a chance to look and learn about their preparation techniques and may give him a better insight into their strengths and weaknesses before the World Twenty20 that will be hosted in England.
“The Twenty20 World Cup is going to be huge and international Twenty20 cricket is going to become bigger and bigger,” said Flintoff. “While I’m out there I’ll be watching the likes of Dhoni, who has played a lot of it, and Hayden who had a good IPL last year. I will be speaking to a few of the Indian guys and see if I can pick their brains.
Flintoff opens his IPL career against Sachin Tendulkar’s Mumbai Indians in Cape Town on April 18 before facing Pietersen’s Bangalore Royal Challengers in Port Elizabeth two days later.
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