Team Chennai in talks with Andrew Flintoff

While IPL and English board (ECB) are yet to thrash out the thorny issue of the number of days English players can be available for the league, sources said that all-rounder Andrew Flintoff is in talks with Team Chennai to play in the second season of the T20 event.

Sources said Team Chennai are so serious about Flintoff that they are ready to go all out in the auction next month. ‘‘As of now, it’s a level-playing field for everyone, but Chennai had a chat with Freddie during the India-England Test match. They are eager to buy him,’’ a well-placed source said.

ECB is willing to release its players for only two weeks while IPL commissioner Lalit Modi wants them for at least a month. But this uncertainty has not had an impact on the demand for three England players – Flintoff, Kevin Peitersen and Owais Shah.

Till now Team Chennai have not listed any of their cricketers for trading. ‘‘Their stand is quite clear. We are not going to trade anyone from our squad. But they are going to go all out for Freddie,’’ a source added.

The big question is, if England players are not available for a month, will they be listed in the auction list? Sources said that if English players don’t take part in the IPL this year, it will be tough for them to come and play in the league in 2010.

If the Indian cricket board and ECB come to a compromise which can allow England players to come for atleast three weeks, Flintoff and Peitersen can still get back home before the first Ashes Test starts on May 6.

The IPL is scheduled to take start from April 10 to May 24, but the final itinerary will be released after the Election Commission announces the dates of Lok Sabha polls.

Sources also said that Matthew Hayden is not happy with the money he is getting and is looking to get some hike from the team.

On the trading front, Team Mohali have listed right-hand batsman Sahil Kukreja and former Indian off-spinner Ramesh Power (both from Mumbai) for trading. As reported earlier by TOI, Mumbai Indians paceman Asish Nehra is all set to join Delhi Daredevils. He will be swapped with Delhi batsman Shikhar Dhawan.

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