England in India 2012-13 November 20, 2012

ECB ponders resting Flower for ODIs


Andy Flower, the England team director, could miss the ODI leg of England's tour of India in January as the ECB looks to ease his workload.

Ashley Giles, Warwickshire's director of cricket who is currently in India as England's selector on tour, is in contention to deputise for Flower along with his long-regarded natural heir, England assistant coach Richard Halsall.

Flower's relentless schedule has been a concern to the ECB for some time. Few players are required for all three formats of the game but Flower is intimately involved in the planning, selection and management of the ODI, Test and T20 teams. While individual players have enjoyed rest periods, Flower has been granted only an occasional, brief absence. It is understood there is a particular concern that the Kevin Pietersen saga left Flower drained.

The ECB has, therefore, urged Flower to take a break. It believes that investing in a period of rest will help retain Flower's services for several more years and ensure he remains enthused and motivated.

Halsall has deputised for Flower in the past. He stood in for two days of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane in November 2010 when Flower required surgery to remove a melanoma from below his right eye and also when Flower was given a break for the ODI in Dublin in August 2011.

But it is understood that Giles is seen as a more suitable long-term substitute. Giles, a former England player and current national selector, recently led Warwickshire to the County Championship title and is emerging as the obvious natural successor to Flower. There could be an element of succession planning in his temporary appointment.

No final decision has been made and other options are being considered. Flower could also skip the ODI or the Test section of the New Zealand tour in February. But, with the next World Cup to be played in New Zealand and Australia in 2015, Flower will be reluctant to miss an opportunity to see players in those conditions.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on November 21, 2012, 20:05 GMT

    This is Good bye Andy. We are British and this is how it is done. Not like how they do things at Chelsea FC. Andy has been a disappointment the way he selects players on match days, strategies etc.

    Time to move on for our sake.

  • Arefin on November 21, 2012, 18:18 GMT

    @abhitupe: you bet! these ideas can come only from England and hence they are yet to win the 50 over world cup! oh and playing samit patel as a test spinner, who else can come up with such "awesome" ideas!

  • Dummy4 on November 21, 2012, 16:48 GMT

    Since when does a manager/coach needs extra breaks due to overwork? Jeez, these guys are so spoiled. Wish my management life was this easy.

  • Dummy4 on November 21, 2012, 15:31 GMT

    To those who are thinking that this is the beginning of the end for Flower; let me assert that this Flower hasn't gone to seeds, as yet. ECB will keep him protected in a green house to extent its longevity. Of course, he is no sun-flower which bends willingly and voluntarily in directions in which it gets sustenance. Unlike a real sun-flower, Andy is becoming more of a beautiful but rigid plastic Flower!

  • Bob on November 21, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    If certain players are not fitted for all formats of the game... maybe the same applies to coaches. Perhaps what is needed is a different coach for each of the two formats..

  • Abhishek on November 21, 2012, 11:14 GMT

    Is it just me or everyone I never understand, England always comes up with weirdest excuse. I am sure Flower needs rest, but Australia on top or even for that matter SA, do admit of too much cricket be it player or coach, but never come up with such terrible solutions. But, yes you have to give to England after one Ashes series win in more than 20 years on Australian soil, and after getting no.1 ranking, the same day they were compared to waugh's invincible aussies, so am sure they can come up with such suggestions. Also, I cant understand this position of team director, when every other team has a manager, may be director has a lot more work...hmmm now I see. Good luck England.

  • ian on November 21, 2012, 7:34 GMT

    This idea of giving Flower a break was flagged up many months ago - and the post-Christmas ODIs -- surely the Aunt Sally of the International calendar these days -- were targeted as being the obvious window. It has become increasingly apparent that the man's tired & in consequence is not as sure-footed as he was in 2010-11. Here we are, at the end of 2012 & the Test side is well back in the pack. But before we dismiss Andy Flower as just another team director/coach, let's just recall that he took England from a worthy Test playing nation to the top of the rankings. He's worked extremely hard & with Andrew Strauss, lowered Australian colours again & again: that is no small feat! As one who fulifilled a lifetime ambition to watch an Ashes' Test at the MCG in 2010, I have seen England at a superlative best & for that moment of exquisite pleasure, I thank AF for his great efforts! He well deserves his break & the thanks for all he's done from Eng supporters. We hope there's more to come..

  • Dummy4 on November 21, 2012, 6:59 GMT

    I wonder whether for most of us who have a daily job , we can claim this break from our employer, in order to come back rejuvenated. I am sure Flower has his Annual leave and other leaves he can take.

  • David on November 21, 2012, 6:17 GMT

    Hmmm…If Flower does not participate in the ODIs, does that make him automatically ineligible for T20 matches?

    Interesting that George writes "Few players are required for all three formats of the game." And one of the very few players who does play all 3 formats has had more than any other to do with Flower needing a rest - and all he wanted was a rest from tedious ODI's and to muck around playing some twenty20 with his mates.

    If such a fuss had NOT been made about a player wanting a break from England's schedule, Flower would probably not need a break after all!

  • Andrew on November 21, 2012, 2:37 GMT

    Wonder is this the tap on the shoulder?

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