England news February 1, 2014

Flower offered role teaching leadership skills

Vithushan Ehantharajah
37

Andy Flower has been offered a new role with a prime focus upon identifying and developing leadership qualities in young England cricketers, according to the chairman of the ECB, Giles Clarke.

Discussions are already well advanced but Flower has yet to confirm that he believes the role will have enough impact to interest him.

"Andy Flower has a great deal to give English cricket," Clarke said. "I'm very confident he'll remain with us and I think he has a lot to bring us, particularly in the development of our young players.

"He has huge coaching abilities and is also a great identifier and developer of leadership in young men, and I think that's something we would all agree is something we need to develop more or and investing more in at Loughborough and in the counties as time goes on. "

Clarke, speaking at England's team base at the Langham Hotel in Melbourne the morning after England's T20 defeat in Melbourne subjected them to lost series in all three formats, remained effusive in his praise for the benefits Flower had brought to English cricket.

He hailed him as "a man of enormous integrity" and asserted that he was "the most successful coach in England's history."

He re-emphasised that Flower's decision to step down was entirely of his own choosing and arose from his belief - shared by the incoming MD of England Cricket, Paul Downton - that it was time to unify the coaching setup, across all three formats. The conclusion that the system of split coaches was not working had emerged during talks with Downton, aimed at examining Flower's key objectives and the issues English cricket was facing.

Clarke said: "Andy has been concerned that because there are players who go across formats, and of course the management team goes across formats, it's extremely important to have the same culture in the England side in terms of preparation, management, the way they approach everything and the way they all relate to one another other.

"I think since December 2012, when we decided with Andy that we would split the roles, we've learned quite a lot about what it's like dividing those roles and he felt that it was now important to bring the roles back together and it was better than way."

Clarke brushed off any notion of surprise at Flower's decision. Asked if he tried to change Flower's mind, he laughed: "When Andy Flower makes his mind up to do something, he's not the easiest of people to dissuade."

For now, Ashley Giles is the front runner to take on the Test mantle, unifying all three formats with the ODI and T20 roles he already occupies. Clarke identified Giles as a "very strong candidate" and a "valued employee of the ECB", but was also keen not to step on Downton's toes, whose job it will be to identify and acquire Flower's successor.

"Paul will conduct a proper process - there may well be other outstanding candidates who may emerge. It will be a matter for Paul and those he uses to advise him on that."

Clarke added: "With no Test cricket due to be played until June, when England host Sri Lanka, the main immediate focus is the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh. Ashley is in charge of all that, anyway, and he's in charge of the West Indies, and will take charge of the side continuously, so that process is very clear. "

Clarke was also steadfast in his belief that Alastair Cook will be lead England out at Lord's as England captain, talking up the imminent future as "Cook's era".

As expected, the 5-0 Ashes whitewash was dismissed as a factor for Flower's stepping aside. It is a surprise, not least because of the manner of the defeats and the visible weariness of players who, it has been argued, had been pushed too hard, too much.

Instead, Clarke recalled the comments made by Dennis Amiss, the former England opening batsman and vice chairman of the ECB, after he and Hugh Morris had interviewed Flower for the role.

"Dennis reminded me that Andy said he reckoned it was a five year job," Clarke said. "And he's been proved absolutely right."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • BradmanBestEver on February 4, 2014, 3:32 GMT

    Probably Flower has some contract situation, otherwise they would have made a clean break.

    If something does not make good sense, then it is usually $ that explains the situation and cricket is no exception

  • Diaz54 on February 3, 2014, 16:14 GMT

    There should be no job for the boys...complete break. Remember the success comes from coach and players combination, once that goes,you have to start fresh. He should not have anything to do with developing leadership....command broad are not very good examples I am afraid! However I don't expect any changes, same guys get jobs, look at previous lot.

  • dunger.bob on February 2, 2014, 23:33 GMT

    I've got to agree with all those posters who say it's a bit silly keeping Flower around after he's resigned and a new coach takes over. .. It's a bit like getting divorced, remarrying but keeping the old wife in the granny flat. .. It can only end in more tears.

    There's a perception that Flower was captaining the team from the sidelines. I don't know if that's true or not, but if it is, he's a tragedy of a captain. No imagination, no killer instinct and has only one gear to call upon. .. I wouldn't be letting someone like that anywhere near my prospective captains. He'll have them clanking around like robots before you can say 'one dimensional' if you do.

    @Ajanthan Shantiratnam: Your suggestion of avoiding the tour altogether sounds like something straight out of India's play book.

    @ CaptainMeanster : I don't want to see my Aussies free of the relegation threat. If you know you can't be dropped, where's the incentive to keep improving. It's a sure fire recipe for mediocrity imo.

  • Cpt.Meanster on February 2, 2014, 19:45 GMT

    So umm.. Flower is technically gonna be still IN England right ? Team "director" or not. Which means more Ashes and other series defeats on the cards. I know Flower had his heyday but that's over now. The entire ECB needs an overhaul. Neither Ashley Giles nor Flower should be around the English cricket team. Keep them away from the team. The team needs new people with fresh ideas. Otherwise, expect England to lose every series from here to Kingdom Come.

  • Nutcutlet on February 2, 2014, 18:46 GMT

    This looks to me like a face-saver for Andy Flower. Further, I'd argue that captains are their own men. They (proper captains - the best of a rare breed) do things in their own way. Yes, they may talk to others, pick their brains, listen carefully & then put their own stamp on any hints / ideas that they've picked up, if they think such-and-such an idea will work at a given point. If a captain knows his men, as people as much as cricketers, has the absolute belief in each member of his team and that belief is fully reciprocated by the players in actions (never trust words alone when it comes to this!) - then you have a captain that will get the best out of his resources. He will make them better players & they will make him a more astute & winning captain. The ECB does not need a captaincy coach; it's an absurd idea. Who coached Worrell, Brearley, Steve Waugh, Len Hutton, Douglas Jardine or the greatest captain England never had - Percy Fender? They were their own men. Leave it alone!

  • ultrasnow on February 2, 2014, 16:41 GMT

    If you have removed him from his job then why not completely? If he has resigned then it should be total and he should make way for new ideas. No half measures here.

  • malepas on February 2, 2014, 13:22 GMT

    Bazar really,, he failed to mould Cook into his role as captain and destroy his batting at same time,, this is not a good advert for his new role,, I think ECB should let him go now,, his shelf life is expired now.. let him go.

  • 64blip on February 2, 2014, 13:18 GMT

    According to Clarke on the radio this morning, Andy Flower decided that the reason England were humped 5-0 in the Ashes was because he wasn't coach of the ODI and t20 teams as well. Wow. I'm not sure which seems most absurd - that Andy Flower actually believes that, or that we should be expected to.

  • on February 2, 2014, 9:32 GMT

    Oh , Bairstow? Not good enough as a batsman and certainly not good enough as a keeper. Swann should be ashamed of himself. Yes the players are the ones who have failed on the pitch but the management have to accept their part. They are management and in any walk of life, they would all be sacked. And PLEASE, let's not offer the job to a saffie or an Aussie!

  • on February 2, 2014, 9:04 GMT

    Nothing changes does it? English cricket run by someone like Clarje who knows jack all about cricket. The coaching staff should be sacked not found new cosy positions. The management selections for this tour was a joke. Everyone in county cricket knew Tremlett is gone and now a medium pacer. Finn had terrible problems before he went out. Onions left out. KP doesn't play enough cricket and does want he wants. Trotts problems must have been known. Bresnan was not match fit. They didn't know who to open with Cook and he is not. Captain.

  • BradmanBestEver on February 4, 2014, 3:32 GMT

    Probably Flower has some contract situation, otherwise they would have made a clean break.

    If something does not make good sense, then it is usually $ that explains the situation and cricket is no exception

  • Diaz54 on February 3, 2014, 16:14 GMT

    There should be no job for the boys...complete break. Remember the success comes from coach and players combination, once that goes,you have to start fresh. He should not have anything to do with developing leadership....command broad are not very good examples I am afraid! However I don't expect any changes, same guys get jobs, look at previous lot.

  • dunger.bob on February 2, 2014, 23:33 GMT

    I've got to agree with all those posters who say it's a bit silly keeping Flower around after he's resigned and a new coach takes over. .. It's a bit like getting divorced, remarrying but keeping the old wife in the granny flat. .. It can only end in more tears.

    There's a perception that Flower was captaining the team from the sidelines. I don't know if that's true or not, but if it is, he's a tragedy of a captain. No imagination, no killer instinct and has only one gear to call upon. .. I wouldn't be letting someone like that anywhere near my prospective captains. He'll have them clanking around like robots before you can say 'one dimensional' if you do.

    @Ajanthan Shantiratnam: Your suggestion of avoiding the tour altogether sounds like something straight out of India's play book.

    @ CaptainMeanster : I don't want to see my Aussies free of the relegation threat. If you know you can't be dropped, where's the incentive to keep improving. It's a sure fire recipe for mediocrity imo.

  • Cpt.Meanster on February 2, 2014, 19:45 GMT

    So umm.. Flower is technically gonna be still IN England right ? Team "director" or not. Which means more Ashes and other series defeats on the cards. I know Flower had his heyday but that's over now. The entire ECB needs an overhaul. Neither Ashley Giles nor Flower should be around the English cricket team. Keep them away from the team. The team needs new people with fresh ideas. Otherwise, expect England to lose every series from here to Kingdom Come.

  • Nutcutlet on February 2, 2014, 18:46 GMT

    This looks to me like a face-saver for Andy Flower. Further, I'd argue that captains are their own men. They (proper captains - the best of a rare breed) do things in their own way. Yes, they may talk to others, pick their brains, listen carefully & then put their own stamp on any hints / ideas that they've picked up, if they think such-and-such an idea will work at a given point. If a captain knows his men, as people as much as cricketers, has the absolute belief in each member of his team and that belief is fully reciprocated by the players in actions (never trust words alone when it comes to this!) - then you have a captain that will get the best out of his resources. He will make them better players & they will make him a more astute & winning captain. The ECB does not need a captaincy coach; it's an absurd idea. Who coached Worrell, Brearley, Steve Waugh, Len Hutton, Douglas Jardine or the greatest captain England never had - Percy Fender? They were their own men. Leave it alone!

  • ultrasnow on February 2, 2014, 16:41 GMT

    If you have removed him from his job then why not completely? If he has resigned then it should be total and he should make way for new ideas. No half measures here.

  • malepas on February 2, 2014, 13:22 GMT

    Bazar really,, he failed to mould Cook into his role as captain and destroy his batting at same time,, this is not a good advert for his new role,, I think ECB should let him go now,, his shelf life is expired now.. let him go.

  • 64blip on February 2, 2014, 13:18 GMT

    According to Clarke on the radio this morning, Andy Flower decided that the reason England were humped 5-0 in the Ashes was because he wasn't coach of the ODI and t20 teams as well. Wow. I'm not sure which seems most absurd - that Andy Flower actually believes that, or that we should be expected to.

  • on February 2, 2014, 9:32 GMT

    Oh , Bairstow? Not good enough as a batsman and certainly not good enough as a keeper. Swann should be ashamed of himself. Yes the players are the ones who have failed on the pitch but the management have to accept their part. They are management and in any walk of life, they would all be sacked. And PLEASE, let's not offer the job to a saffie or an Aussie!

  • on February 2, 2014, 9:04 GMT

    Nothing changes does it? English cricket run by someone like Clarje who knows jack all about cricket. The coaching staff should be sacked not found new cosy positions. The management selections for this tour was a joke. Everyone in county cricket knew Tremlett is gone and now a medium pacer. Finn had terrible problems before he went out. Onions left out. KP doesn't play enough cricket and does want he wants. Trotts problems must have been known. Bresnan was not match fit. They didn't know who to open with Cook and he is not. Captain.

  • Mr.CricketJKNotHussey on February 2, 2014, 7:12 GMT

    @Ajanthan Shantiratnam actually, England needs to change and in order to do that, they need to panic a little. They lost so badly mainly because of their attitude. They played with no passion and like droids who were forced into the national team. They seemed to have no desire to win and barring a few (Broad, Stokes) no one showed any fight. This has been led up to for a while now as they lost to SA at home then nearly lost to NZ away, and the Eng ashes were a lot closer than people seem to think. Yes, it was 3-0, but in all those matches, Australia had a chance to win, they just didn't grab their opportunities. So no, Eng did not "thrash" Aus with the same talent, but Aus, with a few changes did thrash Eng. This is what Eng needs now, change. And if panicking is the way they achieve it, then it is necessary.

  • xylo on February 2, 2014, 6:44 GMT

    I thought that the biggest flaw of Flower was to instill a captain who could not think for himself, and was more of a droid. ECB needs to take a few deep breaths before taking some major decisions.

  • mahdisa on February 2, 2014, 5:25 GMT

    Flower ,This is not the time to leave from England because the world cup is after 15 months. o restart the structure again will be more cost in lose. England need change not in coach in them mentality and approach of the game. winning the game is respecting team but loose decision will make disaster in all the cricket life and entire name /image of country .

  • on February 2, 2014, 2:41 GMT

    England should not panic this much, if so India should have changed captains and coaches million time now. A team as strong as ENG which was the world 1 test team should not hv toured Australia for 100 days. The losses look so big but it's just against AUS only! Why make so much changes and so many retirements based on result on one tour against one country? Not long ago ENG thrashed AUS in the test series with the same bunch of talent! I think it's an unwarranted drama now to let Andy let go! If ENG didn't make this 100 days trip especially after such a huge success back home not only ENG would hv kept it's talent intact, it would hv meant AUS further sink in the hands of SA. But now ENG board has opened the door both ways! Don't panic ENG

  • PFEL on February 2, 2014, 1:05 GMT

    Unless he's being hired as a perfect example of what NOT to do, then this is a crazy decision.

  • on February 2, 2014, 1:04 GMT

    Let Flower go he is history now,He will bring the same negative approach when grooming captains.He should be done and dusted with,

  • flowersintherain on February 2, 2014, 0:15 GMT

    Developing future captains? This is a joke, isn't it?

    Sounds more like finding a job for our bloke Andy!

  • on February 1, 2014, 21:48 GMT

    when will the world realize that ultimately who wins is all about which team has more talented players. period. the rest of the bloated management in place does not matter. sure if u select spinners on a pitch suited for fast bowling, you are more likely to lose but there is no need for a coach for such basic decisions. get rid of andy, get rid of the whole thing.

  • on February 1, 2014, 21:42 GMT

    Left field....Alec Stewart

  • on February 1, 2014, 21:07 GMT

    PCB should look into him............ he can benefit of us a lot...... honestly hes perfect for PCB......

  • FawltyBean on February 1, 2014, 20:21 GMT

    Flower set to GROOM captains - Madness. ECB need to let Flower go completely. His methods did not work for the last 2.5 years. Don't look like Cook learned anything about captaincy other than being a AF puppet. Since when England needed more of tactless captains like Cook. There is no point in trying to recoup AF severance pay this way once you sacked him. The new coach need a clean start without AF hanging around the ECB and Cook running to AF whenever he needs a shoulder to cry.

  • Sigismund on February 1, 2014, 19:41 GMT

    Er... he's had three years knowing for sure that Cook would be the next captain, and another two with him in the post. And Cook has shown that he is without a doubt the weakest on-field captain seen for generations. Huge respect for AF, very grateful for what he has done, but captain-breeding genius he patently is not. Is this a joke?

  • shot274 on February 1, 2014, 17:46 GMT

    Before the days of coaches and cricket management, when a team lost whose fault was it?

  • boomslanger on February 1, 2014, 17:07 GMT

    With Flower's help England can soon have 22 captains (bowler, wicketkeeper, 5on the onside, 4 on the off-side and eleven on the out-side) AS was evident from the recent ashes, CAP'n CooK needed like at least s few of his other (ex-captain) help him set the field, probably amongst other things.

  • on February 1, 2014, 16:34 GMT

    How many captains do we expect to have. Are we going for a pool of 15 made up of majority foreign players bought by ECB.

    Joke. Jobs for the boys is it.

  • m0se on February 1, 2014, 14:09 GMT

    Just let Flower go. Goodness, I don't understand the love affair of the EBC with Flower. They lost the Ashes 5-0 whitewashed when they were favorites to win it. That is the greatest failure possible in English cricket.

  • JG2704 on February 1, 2014, 13:30 GMT

    Surely most of us/if not all of us are in agreement that it's been captaincy and tactics and inability/unwillingness to adapt that have been a huge part in the team's demise under Flower? There possibly is a role he could do but if you're going to give him such a role then what's the point in him leaving the position to begin with?

  • JG2704 on February 1, 2014, 13:25 GMT

    @MohammedPadela on (February 1, 2014, 11:42 GMT) He strongly denied his plans re KP - So why cant people like you just take him on his word.He may not be the best manager/tactician out there but he's not got a track record for lying. If he was really anti KP then KP would not have been reintegrated into the side under his leadership

  • on February 1, 2014, 13:25 GMT

    Seems like no one has the will at the ECB to start again from fresh. Is it too much hard work, too much uncertainty? All the development under Flower has not seen us bring forth talented spinners and left-arm seamers. I am sure they are there, from what I have seen, but they fly under Flower's radar.

  • izzidole on February 1, 2014, 13:16 GMT

    I don't think England cricket coach Andy Flower should get all the blame for England's poor performace in the current ashes cricket series in Australia. I don't think a champion side could suddenly fall from grace overnight within less than three months. The truth is that the new aussie cricket coach Darren Lehmann was too good and simply outsmarted Flower from start to finish and he had no answer. I reckon this is easily one of the biggest achievements in the history of ashes cricket and Lehmann should get all the credit for that. I am sure he has already mapped out his plans for South Africa's downfall too.

  • Redpiggy on February 1, 2014, 12:27 GMT

    If the captaincy skills of Strauss and Cook are his track record, i'm not sure that this will be a terribly worthwhile role..

  • on February 1, 2014, 12:26 GMT

    And that's because Strauss and Cooke were excellent captains? They were ok. Ok at leading strong teams and managing disparate ideas and conflicts in the dressing room I'm sure. And these skills are vital. But on field? Was Andy Flower on his day an innovative captain , was Andy Strauss or now Cooke? Tactically both Strauss and Cooke seem rather lacking and I've not seen much evidence of Flower's influence trying to add that spark and killer instinct.

    How many times were England on par or ahead after day one of the recent test series? How many times were the Aussies "not very many for 5" then let off the hook? Top bowlers rested and 2nd string bowlers (many lf whom should not have been on the tour anyway) allowed to let the Aussie middle order rebuild in terms of runs and confidence and get away. It happened over and over again. These were captaincy errors.

    Maybe Cooke insisted that he continue his professional relationship with Andy Flower and this is how it's done.

  • BradmanBestEver on February 1, 2014, 11:48 GMT

    This flower bloomed for a short period and now it has wilted

  • MohammedPadela on February 1, 2014, 11:42 GMT

    Andy Flower: I don't know if you were fired or you resigned but it looks like you have changed the mindset of boys. 'Team work' is the name of the game. For e.g. if you work somewhere you have to work as a team with people from different cultures and nationality. I will blame you for the low morale of the team and because of the pressure players like KP have been unable to perform.

    I was shocked to read about your plans to leave KP because he is from SA. Have you thought about it that England need a solid middle order batsman in all formats?

  • Big_Chikka on February 1, 2014, 11:21 GMT

    here's a thought...1. he made england successful, they tried to share the success at management level giving giles etc... a chances, the approach failed.................!.........he ain't taking no coaching job if there's another job out there..........!

  • on February 1, 2014, 11:03 GMT

    Why they do not want him writing a book?

  • 64blip on February 1, 2014, 10:59 GMT

    "prime focus upon identifying and developing leadership qualities in young England cricketers" What does that even mean? Anyone do bloated management-speak for a translation?

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  • 64blip on February 1, 2014, 10:59 GMT

    "prime focus upon identifying and developing leadership qualities in young England cricketers" What does that even mean? Anyone do bloated management-speak for a translation?

  • on February 1, 2014, 11:03 GMT

    Why they do not want him writing a book?

  • Big_Chikka on February 1, 2014, 11:21 GMT

    here's a thought...1. he made england successful, they tried to share the success at management level giving giles etc... a chances, the approach failed.................!.........he ain't taking no coaching job if there's another job out there..........!

  • MohammedPadela on February 1, 2014, 11:42 GMT

    Andy Flower: I don't know if you were fired or you resigned but it looks like you have changed the mindset of boys. 'Team work' is the name of the game. For e.g. if you work somewhere you have to work as a team with people from different cultures and nationality. I will blame you for the low morale of the team and because of the pressure players like KP have been unable to perform.

    I was shocked to read about your plans to leave KP because he is from SA. Have you thought about it that England need a solid middle order batsman in all formats?

  • BradmanBestEver on February 1, 2014, 11:48 GMT

    This flower bloomed for a short period and now it has wilted

  • on February 1, 2014, 12:26 GMT

    And that's because Strauss and Cooke were excellent captains? They were ok. Ok at leading strong teams and managing disparate ideas and conflicts in the dressing room I'm sure. And these skills are vital. But on field? Was Andy Flower on his day an innovative captain , was Andy Strauss or now Cooke? Tactically both Strauss and Cooke seem rather lacking and I've not seen much evidence of Flower's influence trying to add that spark and killer instinct.

    How many times were England on par or ahead after day one of the recent test series? How many times were the Aussies "not very many for 5" then let off the hook? Top bowlers rested and 2nd string bowlers (many lf whom should not have been on the tour anyway) allowed to let the Aussie middle order rebuild in terms of runs and confidence and get away. It happened over and over again. These were captaincy errors.

    Maybe Cooke insisted that he continue his professional relationship with Andy Flower and this is how it's done.

  • Redpiggy on February 1, 2014, 12:27 GMT

    If the captaincy skills of Strauss and Cook are his track record, i'm not sure that this will be a terribly worthwhile role..

  • izzidole on February 1, 2014, 13:16 GMT

    I don't think England cricket coach Andy Flower should get all the blame for England's poor performace in the current ashes cricket series in Australia. I don't think a champion side could suddenly fall from grace overnight within less than three months. The truth is that the new aussie cricket coach Darren Lehmann was too good and simply outsmarted Flower from start to finish and he had no answer. I reckon this is easily one of the biggest achievements in the history of ashes cricket and Lehmann should get all the credit for that. I am sure he has already mapped out his plans for South Africa's downfall too.

  • on February 1, 2014, 13:25 GMT

    Seems like no one has the will at the ECB to start again from fresh. Is it too much hard work, too much uncertainty? All the development under Flower has not seen us bring forth talented spinners and left-arm seamers. I am sure they are there, from what I have seen, but they fly under Flower's radar.

  • JG2704 on February 1, 2014, 13:25 GMT

    @MohammedPadela on (February 1, 2014, 11:42 GMT) He strongly denied his plans re KP - So why cant people like you just take him on his word.He may not be the best manager/tactician out there but he's not got a track record for lying. If he was really anti KP then KP would not have been reintegrated into the side under his leadership