Flintoff: IPL didn’t excite me

"There had to be an emotional attachment to what I was doing"

“There had to be an emotional attachment to what I was doing”

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff has revealed that his Indian Premier League (IPL) career remained short as he was never fascinated by the tournament.

Flintoff was bought by the Chennai Super Kings for $1.5 million in 2009, during which he only played three games before returning back to England after sustaining a knee injury.

Even though the 37-year-old earned a lot of money, the tournament failed to hit the mark emotionally and he opted against signing up for it again.

“When I played in the Indian Premier League, when I played that stupid Allen Stanford game in 2008 (West Indies beat England to take the 12.4 million pounds prize), I realised something central about my relationship with cricket, about getting the best out of myself,” he wrote in a column for the Daily Mail. “I don’t play for money. I’m not sure I even can play just for money. Money is great, I can’t lie about that.

“But when I played for Chennai in the IPL in 2009, I couldn’t name everyone in my own team and coaching staff. I remember standing in the middle of the field, in a yellow kit, and my body was sore and hurting, as usual, but I just couldn’t put everything on the line for Chennai. It’s not a reflection on them. It’s simply that the team didn’t mean so much to me.

“The IPL? Nah. I’d always reckoned I could turn on adrenaline. But I can see now that I couldn’t. There had to be an emotional attachment to what I was doing. And it had to matter, which is why the one constant was always my county, Lancashire.”

Flintoff admitted that he felt the same way when he flirted with the idea of becoming a mercenary cricketer. He added that he never had those feelings when representing Lancashire as he was constantly determined to win the County Championship.

“Even for England, if I went in to bat against Zimbabwe with 400 already on the board, I’d be 21, telling myself, ‘Come on, get up for it.’ But something deeper would say, ‘No, this is pointless.’ Same with being a mercenary. I just couldn’t get into it,” he wrote. “Ambition is a funny thing. In cricket, as in many professions, it tends to take you on a journey away from where you started. That’s fine, maybe inevitable. But no one ever tells you that the biggest days aren’t always the best days. And the richest prizes aren’t the ones you remember.

“I won some winners’ medals with Lancashire – a NatWest trophy and a couple of Sunday Leagues. But I desperately wanted to win the County Championship and also to win at Lord’s with them one more time. Because those were the best days. And I could never have had too many with Lancashire. That’s not nostalgia, just the truth.”

Leave a Reply