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Bulimia could have cut short my career: Flintoff

Andrew Flintoff

Bengaluru, September 29: As some high-octane battles are the order of the day in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 being held at three different venues in the UAE, former England captain Andrew Flintoff is involved in a different battle altogether which he feels could have been the reason for the premature end to his promising career, which was cut short by injuries.

Flintoff had a brief stint in IPL when he was purchased by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for a whopping $1.55m during the 2009 ediition held in South Africa, a year in which he was was one of the most expensive buys.

But his IPL career ended just after three games as he needed surgery on a torn cartilage.

Now almost 11 years after his international retirement Flintoff is debating whether to seek professional help over his long battle with bulimia.

The 42-year-old former all-rounder first revealed he was suffering from the eating disorder in 2014, admitting it had affected him through his playing career.

Flintoff, who played 79 Tests for England, has gone on to enjoy a successful career in television since retiring from all forms of cricket aged just 32.

In a BBC documentary tiled Freddie Flintoff: Living With Bulimia aired on Monday (September 28), Flintoff revealed he may need professional help for the first time - he also wonders whether the eating disorder contributed to his relatively early retirement.

"I don't want to be a statistic," he said.

"I don't want it to be read that something has happened to me."

Flintoff says being teased he was overweight in the nascent stages of his international career sparked his descent into bulimia.

"I became known as a fat cricketer," said Flintoff.

"That was horrible. That was when I started doing it. That was when I started being sick after meals.

"Then things started happening for me as a player."

Flintoff's best moment in England colours came in 2005 when he played a key role in the regaining the Ashes on home soil from archrivals Australia after an 18-year gap.

However, his exploits on the pitch did not mirror a happy time off it as he says he would make hinmself sick.

"Everyone was happy with me," he said. "My weight was coming down. It was like: 'I'm bossing this.'

"It just carried on and I was doing it all the time."

(With inputs from Agencies)

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Story first published: Tuesday, September 29, 2020, 10:34 [IST]
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