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Flintoff to skip IPL III

London: Andrew Flintoff will skip the third edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in March-April as he is yet to recover fully from a knee surgery, which has also ruled him out of World Twenty20, to be held in the West Indies.

In a statement issued through his agent Andrew Chandler, Flintoff said the routine arthroscopy on his injured left knee will keep him off the field for the next six months.

Flintoff, who was bought for a whopping $1.55 million by the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL auction last year, underwent the first knee surgery the day after England regained the Ashes last summer.

“It is disappointing not to be able to play for Chennai, who have been very supportive throughout my time with them, but I took this decision because I love playing cricket, and want to give myself the best chance of extending my career,” the burly all-rounder said.

“I have worked extremely hard over the last few months to get to this position, and realise there is a lot more hard work in front of me, if I want to return and play international cricket again,” he added.

Flintoff said once he returns to action, he would focus on playing domestic cricket for his county team Lancashire.

“If I am going to go through another six months of hard rehabilitation and training for long hours, I need a big incentive to be the driving force of that, and playing for Lancashire and England again will become that,” he said. “During my time in rehabilitation, I have been watching England playing well in South Africa, and it has made me realise how much I miss cricket.”

The 32-year-old all-rounder said being on the sidelines for such a long period has helped him redefine his goals.

“My goals have changed since last summer. I trust the surgeon, Andy Williams, implicitly and he is very pleased with the progress of the micro-fracture operation.

“First and foremost, I have to prove to myself that I can regain my fitness, and perform for Lancashire. My first love remains playing for Lancashire, and I want to help them win trophies and hopefully, I can help achieve that later this summer,” he said. (agencies)

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