Chennai gamble on Flintoff
Injury-plagued all-rounder included in CL preliminary squad
Last Updated: 21/07/10 3:28pm
Flintoff: Super Kings incentive
Chennai Super Kings have named Andrew Flintoff in their preliminary squad for the Airtel Champions League Twenty20 in September.
The England all-rounder retired from Test cricket at the end of the 2009 Ashes series and has not played a competitive match since following two operations on his troublesome knee.
Nevertheless, he has always signalled his intent on playing the shorter formats of the game in domestic competitions and - if form allows - for his country.
He is thought to be around a fortnight away from a playing return, likely to be with Lancashire's second XI, and the presence of his name in Chennai's long-list provides a big incentive.
The high-profile 10-team tournament features leading sides from India, hosts South Africa, Australia, the West Indies and Sri Lanka.
A final party of 15 will be announced on August 9 and the 32-year-old all-rounder is hopeful of featuring.
"I spoke to the Chennai coach Stephen Fleming about a week and a half ago, told him where I was at with my fitness and that I would love to represent Chennai again," Flintoff said.
"I only got a chance to do that in three games last time I was there, so the Champions League is a possibility. Hopefully I'll make the cut now."
A handful of big-name players have been named in more than one shortlist - including the likes of Jacques Kallis, Kieron Pollard and Cameron White - and a decision must soon be made over which side they will represent.
If they opt to represent an overseas franchise rather than their home employers, a fee of $200,000 must be paid for their services.
English county sides are not represented in this year's competition after a scheduling clash.