London: English all rounder Andrew Flintoff has admitted that he is fearing the prospect of playing cricket surrounded by large number of security personnel.
Five thousand police officers, including 300 highly trained commandos, will provide security cover ahead of first Test in Chennai to English players who arrived in India on Monday.
The Tamil Nadu police force has launched a major security operation unseen before in the world cricket.
Flintoff is agonised over whether he wanted to be protected by a ring of steel before agreeing on Sunday night to return to India.
“Wondering whether we can concentrate on the cricket is one thing I had to get right in my own mind. I cannot ever not try my best when I go on a cricket field but the environment in which we will be playing will be extremely different," The Sun quoted Flintoff, as saying.
“You're talking about commandos and armed guards looking after you, hotels being locked down and all these type of things. That"s going to be a challenge for the lads. I think a few of us experienced it in 2001-02 when we came to India after the 9/11 attacks in America. We had guards with us but this is likely to be even more," he said.
“Hopefully, when you are on the field and you"re bowling at Sachin Tendulkar or facing Harbhajan Singh, you won"t be too worried about what"s happening around the ground," he added.