London:Indian Premier League commissioner Lalit Modi has urged the England and Wales Cricket Board to stay away from Andrew Flintoff and his participation in the lucrative Twenty20 tournament should the player considers himself fit to play in the second edition of the event.
There's growing concern about the state of Flintoff's fitness after he missed the fourth Test against the West Indies following a hip injury and many feel playing in the IPL could further aggravate the injury and jeopardise England's chances in this year's Ashes.
Though Flintoff - who was bought by the Chennai Super Kings for a record $1.55 million - himself had expressed his desire to play in the IPL, ECB chairman Giles Clarke had admitted he was not in favour of the all-rounder travelling to India.
Reacting to Clarke's comment, Modi said if the player deemed himself fit, the ECB should not stand in his way. "It's between the player and his team. It is nothing to do with the ECB as far as we are concerned," Modi was quoted as saying in 'The Guardian'.
He, however, added that if the ECB invokes a clause in Flintoff's contract relating to injury and thereby stops him from playing in the IPL, then the league could do nothing.
In the event both Flintoff and Chennai Super Kings were to declare the player fit and the ECB disagreed, Modi said, "Our contract is to the player, not the ECB. So that's between the player and the ECB."
Modi also made it clear that in case the ECB stopped Flintoff from taking part in the IPL, it would have very little effect on the league.
"No. Players get injured all the time. That's why there are seven foreign players in all of the teams," he said.