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September 2009
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Andrew Flintoff: Why I Refused That ECB Contract

September 17th, 2009 by Alan Tyers in Alan Tyers, England, One-day cricket


It’s not been an easy decision, but once it became clear that I might have to play in this England one-day side, I knew I had to take action.

There comes a time in every sportsman’s life when he has to think about providing for his nearest and dearest and the thought of going through the rest of my career without ever seeing a win bonus is just not a risk the Flintoff family can afford to take. It’s a short career and I would like to at some point be involved in winning a limited-overs game.

That’s not to say that the ECB contract wasn’t very tempting: a free tracksuit, £50 in Our Price vouchers (expired) and 30% off food at any ECB Official Partner Concession Stand (excluding matchdays) was not an offer to sniff at.

Talking of commercial deals, I suppose it’s possible that no longer being part of the England ODI side could affect my attractiveness to sponsors: that’s certainly what Chubby is hoping.

I want to be the best one-day and Twenty20 player in the world and to do that I need to get exposure to a wider variety of match situations: being part of a Powerplay when No.11 isn’t at the crease, seeing a team-mate hit a boundary, not losing. There’s just so much I haven’t experienced.

The demands playing for England makes on your body have just got too much: up in the morning for football training, touch rugby all afternoon, evenings spent practising how to say: “We’re obviously disappointed to have been turned over by Azerbaijan but that’s limited-overs cricket for you – there’s no easy matches in the ICC Emerging Nations League Six these days.”

At this stage of my career, my body is telling me enough is enough. My soul, too. Have you any idea what it’s like watching our batsmen trying to score against spin bowling or teaching Owais to field a ball hit along the ground? I’ve played in mental agony for most of my career and I owed it to my family not to put myself through that again.

I think after 11 years I know which games I should play and which games I’m better off sitting out – ie the ones where the money’s rubbish, it’s a cash bar and you have to pay for your own wheelchair after the warm-ups.

By Alan Tyers

Posted in Alan Tyers, England, One-day cricket |

2 Responses to “Andrew Flintoff: Why I Refused That ECB Contract”

  1.   L.G. Ross says:

    Excellent as usual.

  2.   Paul Bayntun-Clithero says:

    Surely there must be other reasons!!! The excuses are not extensive enough. Commitment getting in the way of beer swilling and pigs trotter eating comes to mind, for a Lancastrian. I’m sure other Yorkies can think of reasons why a champagne guzzling Lancastrian would prefer to be free lance than commit to a team of losers. I’m sure Alan Donald can give you some soft fitness reasons as well.

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