McCullum inadvertently jeopardises Flintoff's IPL future

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Melbourne, Sep.16 (ANI): New Zealand wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum has inadvertently jeopardised England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff's future in the Indian Premier League.

An amendment to the tournament laws was made just two weeks ago in order to prevent players from trying to become free agents by rejecting contracts from their national boards in order to play in the more lucrative IPL, reports The Age.

Flintoff announced last night he was rejecting an incremental contract offered by the ECB.

Flintoff intends to play in a number of countries for various teams but of most value to him is the 1.55 million dollar contract with IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings.

He has clearance to play with them next year (the final year of his contract) through a two-year No-Objection Certificate issued by the ECB last year, but any participation in 2011 will depend on whether the English board grants Flintoff another NOC.

IPL commissioner Lalit Modi has revealed to The Age that "a loophole" in the system that Kiwi McCullum tried to exploit had been shut down during a meeting on September 2.

"McCullum was trying to become a free agent [threatening not to sign a New Zealand Cricket Board central contract], he wanted to play in the entire IPL and there was a loophole there, but that loophole was closed during our meeting on September 2 when we introduced a new amendment for players who don't have a national contract," Modi said.

Where the requirement of a NOC by their home boards applied only to retired players, McCullum's attempt forced organisers to rewrite the law so that NOCs are now also required by any player without a national contract.

"The new amendment reads that international players need NOCs from their home boards 'for two years post-retirement/not in contract'.

The ECB would not comment on Flintoff's announcement or whether they would grant him an NOC for 2011, saying his statement needed to be digested before a formal stance could be taken. (ANI)

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