Flintoff got it right, says Younus

Andrew Flintoff turning freelancer doesn't surprise Pakistan skipper Younus Khan, who feels cash-rich events have changed cricketer's outlook.

updated: September 17, 2009 14:34 IST
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Andrew Flintoff turning freelancer doesn't surprise Pakistan skipper Younus Khan, who feels cash-rich events like IPL and ICL have changed cricketer's outlook and more players might follow the England all-rounder.

"I think Flintoff got it right given the existing circumstances in cricket these days. With Twenty20 cricket gaining so much popularity and with more money coming in it could prove to be more beneficial for a professional cricketer to remain freelance," Younus said before leaving for South Africa.

"The Indian Premier League and even events like the Indian Cricket League have changed the thinking of the professional cricketer. He is earning more from these private leagues. So obviously there is this option of remaining freelance instead of being tied down by a central contract," he added.

Younus pointed out that once a player signed a central contract with his board its terms and conditions becomes a binding on him.

"I can understand Flintoff's thinking. Without a central contract a player can also appear in domestic tournaments in other countries for good money and they are lot of options available now," he added.

Younus said with the huge money available now in the sport, freelancing could turn into a good career option.

"Personally I still believe Test cricket is the pinnacle of the sport and nothing matches the honour of playing for your country. But I think professional players after some years of serving their country can consider freelance careers," he said.

Younus said in many countries former players still had financial problems after retirement particularly in Pakistan.

"That is why we have moved to form a professional cricketers association in Pakistan. Our only aim is to provide relief to deserving former players. Even if our top players commit to playing two or three benefit matches a year the earnings can be spent on the welfare of former players."

Younus said he had got a boost after reading the statement of Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ejaz Butt that he would support formation of a players association.

"It is a big change from the way former heads of our board thought when it came to having a players association. I have not had a chance to speak to the Chairman on this issue as yet but when we return from the Champions Trophy we will start work on it," he added.