ICL: Indian Cricket League


England await Flintoff scan

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Andrew Flintoff will undergo a medical scan in Barbados today to find out the extent of his hip injury. Flintoff, who is suspected to have a muscle tear, bowled through the pain on the final day of the third Test in Antigua, sending down 12 overs as West Indies squeezed out a draw.

“Clearly, he’s not at full fettle at the moment,” Andrew Strauss, the England captain, said. “He’s got worries with his hip, but we aren’t going to know the full extent until the scan is done in Barbados.”

With England pushing for a Test win, Flintoff put in the extra effort in a six-over spell after tea, even touching 90mph, which went against the medical advice to bowl within himself. “We’ve seen it so many times with Fred that he does what the match situation dictates and sometimes they aren’t in his best interests,” he added. “It was incredible to see him bowling at that pace with that injury. Hopefully it’s not as serious as first thought.”

The importance of Flintoff’s presence for England is well reflected by the fact that the ECB are flying in two players, fast bowler Amjad Khan and batting allrounder Ravi Bopara, all the way from New Zealand - where they were touring with the England Lions squad - as cover.

This is the second injury setback for Flintoff on the tour after he suffered a slight side strain in the opening warm-up match against a St Kitts Invitational XI. He was withdrawn from that game as a precaution and didn’t have any further cricket ahead of the first Test.

The fourth Test begins on February 26 in Barbados. West Indies lead the five-match series 1-0.

Flintoff’s fitness issues - he returned to the Test side after an 18-month absence last year - could also put a doubt over his participation in the IPL. He has been signed for record US$1.55 million fee by the Chennai Super Kings. Andrew Flower, England’s caretaker coach, said the team were monitoring the workload of the players, especially Flintoff.

“He’s a vital ingredient of English cricket and we wouldn’t want one of our best assets to be poorly used. He is a sensible bloke and we will need some sensible negotiation over the next few weeks.”

The ECB are likely to ensure its contracted players pass fitness tests before competing in the IPL. “In the short term it might not be too serious, it might be a significant problem,” Flower said. “England is his priority, so we will monitor it closer to the time and it is too early to say ‘yay or nay’ on that one.

“He’s a mature adult and he will make any decision along with the ECB.”

Source:Cricket News

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