Graham Thorpe

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Freddie not being unloyal

Andrew Flintoff has a contract with Lancashire, but he is essentially a freelance cricketer and everyone in the game will be intrigued to see how his career progresses from here.


Many will see this as an unhealthy situation for the game, freelance cricketers were always going to come in and you cannot blame Flintoff for that.


The big all-rounder does not want to be tied down to a contract with England which has power and control over him.


Knowing Fred and the England setup as a whole, he will have been offered the contract and he will have simply turned it down; it does not mean that he will play any less for his country.


People should not get carried away because Flintoff's situation is a pretty unique one for England. As an injury-prone all-rounder he has to protect his fitness, and he has given a huge amount for his country in the past.


Flintoff is certainly in the most powerful position that an England player has ever been in now.


It was always inevitable that players would become freelancers and pick and choose which matches they play in.


The uncertainty lies in at what age players choose to take on that role of autonomy in their careers because it could start to drop.


Playing for England should remain the number one priority for any cricketer, regardless of whether they are on a central or incremental contract or none at all.



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