Money doesn't motivate me to play - Andrew Flintoff

Money doesn't motivate me to play - Andrew Flintoff
Andrew Flintoff admitted that money never played a decisive role in his career when it came to playing in various Twenty20 competitions around the world.
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Former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff admitted that money never played a decisive role in his career when it came to playing in various Twenty20 competitions around the world.

Flintoff, who hung up his boots in 2009, went on to play in various Twenty20 leagues like the Stanford 20/20 and the Indian Premier League (IPL).

However, the 37-year-old revealed that he will never muster up the enthusiasm to give his best when playing for such money-centric leagues.

"When I played in the Indian Premier League, when I played that stupid Allen Stanford game in 2008 (West Indies beat England to take the £12.4 million prize), I realised something central about my relationship with cricket, about getting the best out of myself.

“I don't play for money. I'm not sure I even can play just for money.

“Money is great, I can't lie about that," Flintoff wrote in a column for the Daily Mail on Sunday. 

Flintoff was picked by the Chennai Super Kings franchise in 2009 for US$1.5 million, but managed to play only three games due to injury.

Dwelling on his time with the Chennai franchise, Flintoff disclosed that he was never able to connect with the team in the IPL. 

"But when I played for Chennai in the IPL in 2009, I couldn't name everyone in my own team and coaching staff.

“I remember standing in the middle of the field, in a yellow kit, and my body was sore and hurting, as usual, but I just couldn't put everything on the line for Chennai.

“It's not a reflection on them. It's simply that the team didn't mean so much to me.” 

In an international career spanning over 11 years for England, Flintoff managed to score over 7,000 runs and took 400 wickets across all formats.

The 37-year-old further stressed the importance for him to have an emotional connection with the team he was playing for – something that was always present when he took the field for his county, Lancashire. 

"The IPL? Nah. I'd always reckoned I could turn on adrenaline.

“But I can see now that I couldn't.

“There had to be an emotional attachment to what I was doing.

“And it had to matter, which is why the one constant was always my county, Lancashire.

“Even for England, if I went in to bat against Zimbabwe with 400 already on the board, I'd be 21, telling myself, 'Come on, get up for it.'

“But something deeper would say, 'No, this is pointless.'

“Same with being a mercenary. I just couldn't get into it.” 

With 24 wickets and 402 runs from five matches in the 2005 Ashes, Flintoff played a crucial role in England winning the famed urn that year.

Though he understands that having an ambition in a sport like cricket was inevitable, Flintoff opined that the richest prizes are not the ones he always remembers.

"Ambition is a funny thing.

“In cricket, as in many professions, it tends to take you on a journey away from where you started.

“That's fine, maybe inevitable. But no one ever tells you that the biggest days aren't always the best days.

“And the richest prizes aren't the ones you remember.” 

However, Flintoff acknowledged that he never ran out of drive or enthusiasm to play and win games for Lancashire.

"I won some winners' medals with Lancashire – a NatWest trophy and a couple of Sunday Leagues.

“But I desperately wanted to win the County Championship and also to win at Lord's with them one more time.

“Because those were the best days.

“And I could never have had too many with Lancashire.

“That's not nostalgia, just the truth.” 

Flintoff also took part in the 2014-15 edition of the KFC Big Bash League, featuring in seven games for Brisbane Heat and made a return to county cricket in 2014, helping Lancashire reach the final of the T20 Blast.

© Cricket World 2015