Bidding starts in Australia for expensive Freddie Flintoff

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London, Oct.14 (ANI): Former England Test all-rounder Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff's declaration that he is keen to play in Australia is likely to spark a fierce inter-state bidding war for cricket's freelance gun for hire.

In an expansive interview to the Daily Telegraph, Flintoff said: "I'm hoping to play more for Lancashire and in the Indian Premier League. Another ambition is to play in an Australian domestic tournament."

Flintoff has joined Australia's Andrew Symonds in becoming a freelance short-game player when he rejected a second-tier contract from the England Cricket Board.

The man they call Freddie is currently out of action after knee surgery but states are already lining up to secure his services as a Twenty20 player in the 2010-11 Big Bash competition.

South Australia last night confirmed it was "aggressively pursuing" Flintoff and one of their key selling points was the relaxed lifestyle in Adelaide for Flintoff, his wife Rachael and young family.

"We have made no secret of the fact that we are after Flintoff and we have already talked to him on several occasions," a SACA spokesman said.

Queensland Bulls coach Trevor Barsby said he would love to have Flintoff on deck but one sticking point could be the price he would demand.

It is believed Flintoff is seeking a two-year deal in Australia and he would be able to demand a base price of 120,000 dollars just for the Big Bash.

That payment could be topped up by Cricket Australia, which would be just as keen to see Flintoff playing in Australia.

Queensland Cricket boss Graeme Dixon confirmed the Bulls' interest in Flintoff but said they did not have a bottomless pit of cash.

Other states such as NSW, which has already shown its liking for big-name international stars after recruiting Kiwi Brendon McCullum last season, are also likely to join the race to secure Flintoff.

Flintoff has denied he has done anything wrong by snubbing the England cricket board's contract offer.

"I'm comfortable in what I've done," he told The Guardian. (ANI)

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