Barbados: England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff expects to be fit to play in the lucrative Indian Premier League. Though he has been ruled out of the Fourth Test against West Indies due to a strained hip muscle, and may not also play the Fifth Test and limited-overs games which follow, Flintoff is confident he will join up with the Chennai Super Kings, who paid over a million pounds for him, when the IPL starts on April 10.
I dont think it will be touch and go. The IPL"s still a while away so for all intents and purposes Ill be fit for that. Im intending to go, but it"s not really at the forefront of my thinking, the Sun quoted him, as saying.
“I want to play Test cricket and I want to play the one-day internationals," Flintoff added.
Flintoff insists it is in England""s interests for their players to take part in the IPL, with the World Twenty20 taking place on home soil this summer.
“Obviously financially it"s great. But to further our game and get better in that form of the game it"s important we go," he said.
According to The Telegraph, Flintoff is likely to find himself bowling at Kevin Pietersen in his first appearance in the Indian Premier League. The IPL fixtures for 2009 have been announced, and they reveal that the two big-money English signings have been drawn together in the third match of the season Chennai Super Kings against Bangalore Royal Challengers on April 11.
The match has been scheduled for a Saturday night, which shows how commercially attractive both Flintoff and Pietersen are deemed to be for broadcasters.
The second instalment of the IPL will run from April 10 until May 24, when the final will be held in Mumbai.
English players are only available for the first three weeks of the tournament, which will allow Flintoff to play six matches (or possibly seven, if he can persuade his bosses at Lord""s to let him bend the rules and face the Delhi Daredevils on Friday May 1, the day after the deadline ends).
The England players are due to start a Test series the following Wednesday, May 6.
Pietersen, meanwhile, should be able to play in eight games before flying home late on April 30. As salaries are payable on a pro-rata basis, depending on how many matches players appear in, he should thus come away with a larger pay packet: around 500,000 pounds to Flintoff""s 375,000 pounds.