England on alert amid Flintoff fatigue fears

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The Independent Online

England will continue to monitor the welfare of Andrew Flintoff before deciding whether he will play in tomorrow's sixth one-day international against India.

England are 4-0 down in the seven-match series and Flintoff was due to miss Sunday's abandoned game in Guwahati. The move gave a clear indication of the England management's concern over the amount of cricket their star performer is scheduled to play over the coming months.

"We want to give Freddie a rest whenever we can," said Duncan Fletcher, the England coach. "There are concerns that he will become both physically and mentally fatigued. He is not the only player we are looking at. We look at all our players. I am already trying to plan out a schedule for the next six to 12 months. We obviously want the World Cup side to play as much cricket together as possible, without them playing too much cricket."

England return from their nine-week tour of India on 16 April and will have a maximum of three weeks rest before preparing for the first Test against Sri Lanka. Fletcher intimated that each of the players currently touring India will play in at least one match prior to taking on Sri Lanka and added: "I've had a chat with a few of the players and told them what I want them to do before the first Test."

India (from): V Sehwag (capt), A R Uthappa, Yuvraj Singh, M Kaif, S K Raina, ÝM S Dhoni, I K Pathan, Y V Rao, M M Patel, S Sreesanth, Harbhajan Singh, A B Agarkar, R R Powar, R P Singh, V R V Singh.

England (from): A Flintoff (capt), K Ali, J M Anderson, G J Batty, I R Bell, I D Blackwell, P D Collingwood, M J Hoggard, ÝG O Jones, S I Mahmood, K P Pietersen, L E Plunkett, M J Prior, O A Shah, V S Solanki, A J Strauss.