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Page last updated at 09:19 GMT, Friday, 18 September 2009 10:19 UK

Flintoff swayed by TV opportunity

Flintoff is no mercenary - manager

Andrew Flintoff's agent has dismissed accusations that the all-rounder's rejection of an England contract was motivated by greed.

One of the reasons Flintoff turned down the ECB offer is that he might take part in a dangerous sports television series, including bungee-jumping.

"There were one or two things in the deal that made it tough to sign," said his agent Andrew Chandler.

"I've seen reports he's a mercenary - he's nothing of the sort," he added.

Flintoff is currently in the United Arab Emirates, where he and his family will be based for six months, as he undergoes rehabilitation after an operation on a persistent knee injury.

He will spend some of the time assisting the United Arab Emirates national team on a casual basis.

Chandler believes Flintoff has taken his "destiny in his own hands" by rejecting the ECB contract.

"There were one or two things in it that made it difficult to sign like he wouldn't be allowed to participate in dangerous sports and he's possibly doing a television series in which he may do bungee-jumping," said Chandler.

However, Chandler did admit that the 31-year-old Flintoff, one of the most recognised cricketers in the world, did have financial issues to consider in the final stages of his career.

"He's got three young kids and Andrew and his wife Rachel both spend reasonable amounts of cash so he has to make plenty," he added.

Flintoff's rejection of the England and Wales Cricket Board's offer of an incremental contract worth around £25,000, leaves him free to take up lucrative offers from overseas sides.

I can't see how not signing his contract could jeopardise his position with England

Andrew Chandler

But Chandler insisted the all-rounder, who retired from Test cricket in the wake of the Ashes series victory over Australia in August remains committed to England and will be available for selection for their Twenty20 and one-day matches.

"I don't know what was in the ECB's mind when they offered him the contract they did, because they probably must have known that the money wouldn't have made a lot of difference compared to the sums of money he was earning as a Test cricketer," the agent added.

"But he is going to end up with the odd sponsorship deal that would be possibly conflicting with an England sponsorship deal and he just wants to have the freedom of mind that he can do what he wants to when he wants to."

Chandler also rejected suggestions that Flintoff's decision to reject the ECB offer could create tension in the England dressing room.

"I can't see how not signing his contract could jeopardise his position with England and I've seen reports that it will do this in the dressing room.


"I don't see what difference it makes whether he is getting paid that extra money or not as long as he does what he needs to do."

Chandler believes that Flintoff could be ready to play for England - if selected - for the one-day leg of England's tour of Bangladesh in February.

Flintoff is certainly likely to be available to play for the Chennai Super Kings, who face the Deccan Chargers in their first match on 14 March in the Indian Premier League.

"He has turned down an England contract but this won't make much difference as he has said he will make himself available for one-day games," said Chandler.

"He is aiming to play a role in the one-day leg of the Bangladesh tour. He remains committed to Lancashire and in addition to the IPL, he has been offered contracts for T20 tournaments elsewhere in the world."

Chandler explained that after England, Flintoff's county side Lancashire would be the all-rounder's next priority before he headed abroad.

"He is also going to be available for every Lancashire game that doesn't cut across an England game," added Chandler.

"Lancashire have been great, they have completely understood his situation and he is going to sign a contract with them hopefully in the next seven days, because he has always been a Lancastrian and always will be."

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see also
Vaughan issues Flintoff warning
16 Sep 09 |  England
Flintoff rejects England contract
15 Sep 09 |  England
Flintoff's England future at risk
14 Sep 09 |  England
Flintoff recovery set for Dubai
08 Sep 09 |  England
Flintoff admits fears over career
30 Aug 09 |  Cricket
Victorious England regain Ashes
23 Aug 09 |  England

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