England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff believes the Indian Premier League would provide him the opportunity to spy on his opposition, including Indian players, which will come handy during his side’s ICC World Twenty20 campaign in June.
“The Twenty20 World Cup is going to be huge and international Twenty20 cricket is going to become bigger and bigger,” Flintoff was quoted as saying in the ‘Guardian’.
“While I’m out there I’ll be watching the likes of Dhoni, who has played a lot of it, and Hayden who had a good IPL last year. I will be speaking to a few of the Indian guys and see if I can pick their brains,” he added.
With the upcoming Ashes series in July, Flintoff feels he has to be a little cautious as not to give away any secrets.
“I think you’ll find players helping each other out and talking to each other, but the flip side of that is that other sides have England team-mates so you have to be a bit cautious about what you’re saying.
“Ultimately, it’s all about playing for England and by passing on a bit of information about one of your players could be to the detriment of this team and that’s something you can’t do,” he said.
Flintoff, who was bought by the Chennai Super Kings at $1.5 million and will feature in the Twenty20 tournament starting on April 18, said the IPL stint will help him to stay at the peak of his game.
“It’s been frustrating with the hip injury, thigh injury and getting hit on the thumb just before the end of the tour of the West Indies and I think the IPL will be good for me.
“I know I’m only bowling four overs a game, but it will give me a chance to work on my game in between games going into a Test series and I will be working with top facilities in South Africa.”
Flintoff will play only seven matches before reporting back in England on May 1 for the tough summer ahead, which includes Test and ODI series against West Indies, the ICC World Twenty20, the Ashes series and a seven-match ODI series against Australia.
“It is a long schedule and everyone is looking forward to the Ashes and making sure everyone is fit for that but I’ve stressed all along that we have to perform in all the games we’re playing,” said Flintoff.
“From my point of view, although it’s been frustrating I’ve had four or five weeks when I’ve not played because I’ve been injured so I’m probably fresher than a lot of the lads.
“If I’m asked whether I’m jaded in September I’ll probably be on my knees but at this moment in time I’m looking forward to getting on with it,” he added.