FLINTOFF DRAGGED INTO IPL CONTROVERSY

Lalit Modi might have been sacked as the Chief Commissioner of the highly successful and popular Indian Premier League or the IPL, the first ever franchise based Twenty 20 Cricket league in the world almost 2 seasons back now for financial misdealing, but he has stirred up fresh controversy and has dragged legendary England cricketer Andrew Flintoff into it.

In an interview with a local Indian newspaper that created quite a stir in Indian cricket, Modi said that the auction for players ahead of the second edition of the IPL in 2009 was rigged in favor of the Chennai based franchise, the Chennai Super Kings that is owned by India Cements, whose managing director is N. Srinivasan, the erstwhile secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India or the BCCI and the current President.

The team led by Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni managed to get their hands on the prized asset of Andrew Flintoff during the auction for a staggering $ 1.55 million, making him the joint most expensive player along with Kevin Pietersen.

Elaborating on how he managed to rig the auctions in favor of the Super Kings, Modi added that he had managed to cajole the champions at that time, the Rajasthan Royals to retain the services of their star player Sohail Tanvir, from Pakistan, in spite of knowing that no Pakistan players would be allowed to play in the IPL due to diplomatic crises between the two nations.

This reduced their purse of the allotted $ 2 million ahead of the auction and also got the permissions to allow the Super Kings to cancel the contract for the Sri Lankan player Chamara Kapugedera, thereby enabling the India Cements backed side to use their full purse for the auction, which they used to get the prized asset of Andrew Flintoff.

ONE OF THE GREATEST

Andrew Flintoff is, without doubt, England’s most iconic player since the days of Ian ‘Beefy’ Botham.

Not only was he an incredibly skilled player, capable of world class performances with both bat and ball, he was someone with whom the whole country could relate to.

He came across as just a normal lad, with a humble upbringing, and someone who definitely enjoyed socialising and having a drink. The British public has always taken to this kind of character, and when they provide scintillating performances alongside a likeable persona, most of the time they will develop into somewhat of a national treasure.

Andrew Flintoff was an exceptional cricketer from an early age, but initially he was more of a batting all-rounder, compared to the bowling all-rounder he became later in his career.

Thankfully, his career will almost certainly be remembered for the heroics he performed during the Ashes in 2005. Flintoff captured the imagination of not only the British public with his stunning performances, but also the cricketing world.

Not only did he show sporting genius in the series, he also showed great compassion and sportsmanship, with the famous photograph of him consoling Brett Lee after one of the greatest Test matches of modern times living long in the memory.

Following his Man of the Series performance against Australia, he was awarded with the prestigious ICC Cricketer of the Year award. Punters who had backed him with a bet on cricket online won big money when Flintoff won the award.

Sadly, Flintoff very rarely reached the lofty heights of his performances from 2005 again, but fittingly he still managed to sign out of his cricketing career with an outstanding run out of Australia captain Ricky Ponting in the final test of the 2009 Ashes, which helped England secure the Ashes once again.