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Flintoff backs India to retain Twenty20 title

England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff has tipped India to retain the ICC World Twenty20 Championship next month, saying that the Indian Premier League experience will come in handy for Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men in their title defence.

Flintoff, who has been ruled out of the June 5-21 event in England after undergoing a knee surgery early this month, told PTI from Lancashire that Australia, South Africa and England would pose a strong challenge to India.

"Indians just played in a world-class competition in IPL and naturally they are the favourites (to win the T20 World Cup). Australia, South Africa and England would be strong challengers. England can spring a few surprises," he said.

Flintoff defended his decision to play in the IPL in South Africa where he ended up tearing a cartilage on his right knee, which ultimately led to him being ruled out of the World Twenty20 event.

"My injury was not from just one event or tournament, it was over a period of time and I think ECB should not be blamed for allowing me to play in the IPL," he said.

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