Flintoff can't wait to travel to India
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Flintoff can't wait to travel to India

The all-rounder rejected Ian Botham's suggestions that he should give Champions Trophy a miss to preserve himself for the Ashes.

india Updated: Oct 09, 2006 14:35 IST

England captain Andrew Flintoff, making a comeback after a 12-week injury layoff, has said he was confident of performing the duties of both a bowler and a batsman during the upcoming Champions Trophy in India.

"I can't wait to go to India, to be honest. I have missed 12 weeks of the season. I have trained hard and worked hard to get back out on the cricket field, so India is something I am desperately forward to," the ace all-rounder said.

The 28-year-old rejected Ian Botham's suggestions that he should give the tournament a miss to preserve himself for the Ashes.

"I'm confident I will be fine after the work I have done so far. The 12-week rehabilitation programme finishes in mid-October, to coincide with the India trip, so it will depend on how the next few weeks go," he said at a function to release his book - 'Freddie, My World'.

"I have been batting, I've done a few walk-through drills with the ball and I'll build up over the next few weeks and see how I feel when I start to bowl a bit quicker," he added.

Flintoff, whom England have been planning to play only as a batsman in the build-up to their Ashes defense, also said the hectic international calender was going to cut short the careers of players, especially bowlers.

"I believe careers are going to get shorter with the amount of cricket we are playing. It is not seasonal for us any more. We play in the summer and then we go away. If you look at the schedule we have got in the next few months there is not a great deal of time off.

"... For bowlers, especially, it is inevitable - with the strains and stresses -- that they won't be able to go on as long as players did in the past," he said.

Flintoff also expressed confidence that his team would be able to stand up to Australia's challenge despite absence of their injured players.

"... We've been a little bit unlucky with injuries. But we have a good team -- quite inexperienced in some ways -- but we are very excited about the prospect of playing in Australia again. We'll be okay," he said.

First Published: Sep 29, 2006 10:29 IST