But if Flintoff and Chennai were to declare the player fit and the ECB disagreed, what would be the stance of the IPL? “Our contract is to the player, not the ECB. So that’s between the player and the ECB.”
Modi was also bullish when asked directly if he was concerned about the effect on the IPL should Flintoff – who, alongside Kevin Pietersen, became the competition’s richest player at the auction earlier this month, signing £1.1m contract with the Chennai Super Kings – be forced to pull out because of injury. “No. Players get injured all the time. That’s why there are seven foreign players in all of the teams,” he said.
Flintoff is unable to play in England’s fourth Test against the West Indies, which begins tomorrow in Bridgetown, having been ruled out because of a hip injury he suffered in the drawn third rubber of the series.
Flintoff is now waiting to see if he will be fit enough to feature in the fifth and final Test, which starts next Friday in Trinidad. But he is confident that there is time to recover for England’s one-day international series with the West Indies which starts on 20 March. And he stated earlier this week that he plans to play in the IPL, which starts on 10 April, a sentiment that was immediately challenged by the ECB chairman.
Giles Clarke stated on Wednesday that he was “deeply worried about Andrew Flintoff going to India. It is a definite risk. In any event, the injury he’s currently suffering from may not be sufficiently mended for him to go anyway”.
The ECB chairman also added he would have no qualms about telling the player – if there was a need to – that he must not feature in the competition, which begins on 10 April. “I think everybody knows I’m capable of doing that if that is what the cricket management require,” he said.