Flintoff expects to be fit for IPL

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The Independent Online

Andrew Flintoff does not believe he will be forced to sacrifice the riches on offer in the Indian Premier League for the sake of England's Ashes chances.

The all-rounder has been ruled out of the fourth Test against West Indies which starts on Thursday due to a strained muscle in his right hip.

His ability to recover in time for the fifth Test and limited-overs games which follow in the Caribbean has also been called into question.

The IPL starts on 10 April, when Flintoff hopes to join up with the Chennai Super Kings franchise which bought him for £1m at auction earlier this month.

But England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive David Collier suggested on Sunday that Flintoff might be banned from travelling to the sub-continent if it is deemed a fitness risk in an Ashes year.

The Lancashire star, though, is confident he will recover in time to play in the lucrative Twenty20 tournament.

"I don't think it will be touch and go," he told The Guardian.

"The IPL's still a while away so for all intents and purposes I'll be fit for that.

"I'm intending to go but it's not really at the forefront of my thinking - I want to play Test cricket and I want to play the one-day internationals."

Flintoff insists it is in England's interests for their players to take part in the IPL, with the ICC World Twenty20 to take place on home soil this summer.

"As much Twenty20 cricket going into that World Cup will obviously benefit the side," he added.

"You see how the Indians have gone - it's had a knock-on effect in one-day internationals.

"Obviously financially it's great. But to further our game and get better in that form of the game it's important we go."