View Full Version : Flintoff goes freelance

September 16, 2009, 03:17 AM
The topic deserves a thread of its own. Flintoff is prolly the first of many cricket's soldiers of fortune we are going to see in coming years.

Flintoff rejects ECB central contract


Andrew Flintoff has confirmed that he has rejected the offer of a one-day contract with the England & Wales Cricket Board, and will instead become the world's first freelance cricketer in a bid to maximize his considerable earning potential in the final years of his career.

Flintoff retired from Test cricket last month following England's Ashes victory at The Oval, meaning he no longer qualified for one of the ECB's full central contracts. He subsequently underwent a knee operation that will keep him on the sidelines for at least six months, but on Friday he was offered an incremental contract to cover his limited-overs appearances. The option of lucrative Twenty20 deals from the IPL and beyond, however, has proved too tempting to resist.

"One of the things I want to pursue more than anything is playing in different worldwide locations," he told andrewflintoff.com. "I've been very lucky playing for England for the past 11 years and I've sampled different countries, but I've always wanted the opportunity to play more in these places, get to know them and the way they go about their cricket.

"I said when I retired from Test cricket that my ambition was to become the best one-day and Twenty20 player in the world and playing in all these different countries can only help."

An ECB spokesman said that Flintoff's decision would require "careful consideration", and that the board would digest the news and respond in due course if required. When fit, Flintoff remains an integral part of England's limited-overs plans, and he himself has stated he wants to play until the 2015 World Cup.

But England coach Andy Flower had said his players could take part in only three weeks of the 45-day IPL next year if they toured Bangladesh in February and March, ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 in the Caribbean in May. That means Flintoff, the joint highest-paid player in the IPL along with Kevin Pietersen, would stand to lose about half of his US$1.55m fee by going to Bangladesh for what he had originally earmarked for his comeback series.

"I was flattered to receive the offer of an incremental contract from the ECB, which I wasn't really expecting, but at this stage of my career I don't think I need to be told when to play and when to rest," said Flintoff, who is currently in Dubai recovering from his knee surgery. "I am 31, I have played international cricket for 11 years and know my body's capabilities.

"I am grateful to the ECB for the all the financial support they have given me to help in my rehabilitation. I have moved to Dubai because I believe it will help in that and their decision to pay for Dave Roberts' continued expertise to aid my recovery has been invaluable."

Flintoff 's freelancing will follow the route expected to be taken by Australian allrounder, Andrew Symonds, who is also eyeing several Twenty20 opportunities around the world after his national career stalled due to disciplinary issues. It is understood that Flintoff has already received a No-Objection Certificate from the ECB, which will allow him to take part in a minimum of three weeks of IPL cricket per season.

That, however, could prove to be an awkward precedent for Flower, who had warned that players' workloads need to be managed and that participation in lucrative leagues like the IPL will continue to be an issue over the next few years. The amount of time England players were available for the 2009 IPL season had been a major sticking point between the ECB and the Indian board earlier this year before a compromise was reached.

"He'll play for Chennai [Super Kings in the IPL], he might play for an Australian team, a South African team, maybe one in the West Indies," Flintoff's manager, Andrew Chandler, told the Observer. "If he hadn't have been injured he would have probably played in December-January in Australia. And then at the end of January, early February in South Africa. I was already negotiating with them. We were negotiating with South Australia and the Durban team, the Nashua Dolphins. And there's been an offer from Northern Transvaal [Northerns] as well." While in Dubai, Flintoff also intends to help out with the UAE national squad.

Despite all the high-profile offers that can be expected to come his way, Flintoff is still keen to make an impact with his county side, Lancashire. "I enjoy playing under Peter Moores and Glen Chapple, our captain, is one of my best mates," he said. "I am desperate to help them achieve success at Old Trafford."

"Lancashire, as we have been throughout his entire career, are fully supportive of Fred's ambitions and we hope to see him play a leading role for us in our one day team's for years to come," said Lancashire's chief executive, Jim Cumbes. "To that end, we are currently in talks with Fred and his management team about a new contract which will help support his goals and the ambitions of Lancashire."

September 16, 2009, 03:57 AM
Ponting: Flintoff move an omen


"It's inevitable that it's going to happen," Ponting said of the club v country divide.

"There are a number of one-day tournaments, Twenty20 tournaments that are being played at different times around the world and you can't play everything."

"So individual players are going to be making up their mind if they want to continue playing Test cricket and representing their country all the time or if they're going to go and play in these other tournaments, so it will happen."

As he is no longer playing Test cricket Flintoff's deal with the ECB is estimated to be worth no more than $60,000, which is only a small portion of what he could make outside of the international arena.

"The challenge now for the administrators, is it will be interesting to see what happens with him," Ponting said.

"Will England continue to pick him or not? I don't know what's going to happen there so that will be interesting to see."

England captain Andrew Strauss, whose team took another battering from Australia in the one-day series, said Flintoff needed to explain his actions before a decision could be made on his international future.

"Obviously there is a reason why he hasn't agreed to it and we need to find out what that reason is," Strauss said.

"I think if Freddie is committed to playing for England he's still a great asset for us in the shortest forms of the game, and I'm sure he still feels he's got a lot of cricket left in him, but it's a bit too early to react to this at this stage."

"It's a conversation the ECB will need to have with him and his management over the coming days."

September 16, 2009, 04:12 PM
From http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2009/sep/16/andrew-flintoff-freelance-ipl

The ECB remains perplexed by Flintoff's refusal of an incremental contract – a £30,000 bonus on top of his other income – but believe recent rule changes in the Indian Premier League make it unlikely that other leading England players will follow his example. IPL (http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/ipl) regulations have been toughened so that all players, whether or not they are bound to a national contract, still need clearance from their boards to take part until two years after their international retirement.

What has become known as the McCullum judgment addressed an attempt by the New Zealander Brendon McCullum to refuse a national contract so he could play the entire second season of IPL, a judgment which conceivably escaped Flintoff and his agent, Andrew Chandler. Flintoff already has clearance for 2010, but he will be reliant on the ECB's good faith the following year.

September 16, 2009, 07:17 PM
'Bungee-jump' scuppered England deal

Andrew Flintoff's agent, Andrew Chandler, has said that a desire to go bungee-jumping was a contributory factor in Flintoff's decision to turn down an ECB central contract.

Denying accusations that Flintoff is a "mercenary" for seeking to maximise his earnings in the final years of his career, Chandler nevertheless queried the ECB's judgement in offering an incremental deal worth £25,000 per year, when his IPL contract alone is worth US$1.55million.


There is a new joker in the town. Thats Andrew Flintoffs agent.

September 16, 2009, 08:41 PM
Imagine the money Chris Cairns would of been worth if he was born in England

Flintoff is half the all rounder he was

September 17, 2009, 01:20 AM
Flintoff's contribution to English cricket is enormous. When they were at their very bottom, Flintoff was single-handedly winning matches.

September 17, 2009, 02:08 AM
These days I don't understand much when he talks about his future goals .... he can clearly say I want to play the format which can give more money with less physical effort (you know my knee!). I will be very happy if England don't consider him for the 2111 world cup.

September 17, 2009, 03:31 AM
If the following is correct, then cricket has little hope.
"The intent was very clear, but now the rule is absolutely air-tight, players can't pick and choose whether to play for their countries," Modi said. "Flintoff must receive an NOC from the England board if he wants to play in the IPL, there is no question."

From Here (http://www.cricinfo.com/newzealand/content/story/425346.html?CMP=OTC-RSS)

September 17, 2009, 04:44 AM
This NOC business sounds like it would not pass muster in a labor court. Expect someone to bring a case (i.e. sue) sometime soon - we are definitely going to get a Bosnich like ruling

September 17, 2009, 05:45 AM
This is why I supported ICL - cricketers were not left at mercy of their boards, they had an alternative.

September 17, 2009, 06:16 AM
Every once in a while, monopolies such as cricket boards need a good kick up the back-side. ICC/Indian Cricket Board needs such a kick badly.

September 17, 2009, 07:21 AM
This NOC business sounds like it would not pass muster in a labor court. Expect someone to bring a case (i.e. sue) sometime soon - we are definitely going to get a Bosnich like ruling

No the law would be air-tight, since all the cricket is controlled ultimately by the ICC.

Its like suing your boss, because he's not offering you a lucrative job position, because you have been neglecting your primary responsibilities and duties.

IT would be ridiculous.

September 17, 2009, 03:16 PM
This is why I supported ICL - cricketers were not left at mercy of their boards, they had an alternative.


Not to mention ICL were the originators. IPL just had a bigger budget and influence to back them up. I'm still hoping ICL goes after BCCI and ICC legally and wins.

September 18, 2009, 07:23 AM
Nafi - not quite. It's more like saying if you are an accountant, you can only for Ernst & Young. And even when E&Y is closed or you have been laid off or you have retired, you gotta ask for their permission to go somewhere else. The first premise itself is problematic and that's what I'm saying will get sued.