England in India 2012-13 November 20, 2012

ECB ponders resting Flower for ODIs

22

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

  • 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.

  • nymphsatyr 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!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • bobmartin 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..

  • abhitupe 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.

  • Nutcutlet 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..

  • 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.

  • Greatest_Game 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!

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

    Wonder is this the tap on the shoulder?

  • 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.

  • nymphsatyr 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!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • bobmartin 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..

  • abhitupe 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.

  • Nutcutlet 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..

  • 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.

  • Greatest_Game 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!

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

    Wonder is this the tap on the shoulder?

  • dunger.bob on November 20, 2012, 22:25 GMT

    So, the Flower is wilting.. sorry, but someone had to say it. .. I never really thought about the possibility of a coach getting tired, but I guess its entirely feasible given the endless stream of cricket these days. An involved coach would be under a lot of stress to perform and there's the added burden of not being able to do anything about it himself, not directly at least. His fate is in the hands of his players and if they don't perform the pressure starts to build. ... given his record and where he has taken England it seems a bit unfair to start calling for his head already....

  • sedgemour on November 20, 2012, 22:04 GMT

    @maximum6 - so when Nasser Hussain and then Michael Vaughan were england skippers Duncan Fletcher had nothing to do with the improvements made did he not? A good coach is as important, if not more. Mickey Arthur and Graeme Smith getting South Africa to where they are now, Kirsten is in charge now but the groundwork was done years before. A bad coach makes things worse, Flower is not a bad coach. @Prash Smith - No excuses are being made. Nobody expects England to win in India. England can't lose from here, even if we lose the series 4-0. After India's brilliant 2007 series win in England, India's lack of stomach in 2011 was pathetic. England have shown more fight in that 409, and if we are behind the 8 ball again, there will be even more fight to come

  • Baundele on November 20, 2012, 21:35 GMT

    beginning of the end for Flower in England color.

  • whoster on November 20, 2012, 21:31 GMT

    @Prash Smith. I haven't heard any excuses being made about Flower's workload contributing to England's poor performance. In fact, I've not read any reports or articles blaming anything except the players own performance. Still, if you want to make excuses that aren't there, that's up to you.

  • TontonZolaMoukoko on November 20, 2012, 21:18 GMT

    Prash Smith - No excuses being made, we lost the 1st test (and will most probably lose the series) because we're not as good as India in Indian conditions. It is just sensible to rest both the playing and coaching staff when necessary for non-important series - which an ODI series over 2 years away from a World Cup is.

  • RICK69 on November 20, 2012, 20:08 GMT

    Flower should be permanently rested.His time has come & gone.

  • ashes61 on November 20, 2012, 19:59 GMT

    I'm in favour of this idea of short breaks. With such importance given these days to non-Test cricket, even T20 now, and his involvement in preparation & planning for all three, he gets less time off than any of his players. And because all series seem so high profile nowadays (even NZ) the pressure never goes. When does he sees his family? Most internat'l coaching appointments are quite short these days, so I'd be in favour of anything which prolonged his tenure. Maximum6: Flower provided the conditions in which Strauss's leadership could thrive. Think of the mess they had to turn round when they both took over. I think it was a joint effort & that Flower was very necessary at that time. We owe him a great deal. You'd obviously prefer a different job description - that's fair enough but while his job is what it is he must have the say he gets at the moment, which means a big say in team discipline. Note that AUS are now closer to our system. Prash Smith: Don't be silly, please.

  • on November 20, 2012, 19:13 GMT

    The excuses for England's loss are already being made now. If they lose the series they can use the ready made prepared excuse of "we lost because Flower was overworked and it caused mental issues amongst all the players. We're like a big happy family and if Flower's not right, we're not right"

  • Surajdon9 on November 20, 2012, 19:10 GMT

    Give rest to all england players too..

  • 2.14istherunrate on November 20, 2012, 16:48 GMT

    Why don't they give him from the end of the Tests in India to the start of NZ OdI's and not require him for t20's in India? Maybe even give him ODI's off in NZ. Halsall deputising for occasional game si s ok but as a full time successor, no way. I think one has to have played tests to a certain standard to get this job. Giles would be okay, but I would like to see the coach as less of an authority figure, and just ass a faciliiator. Flower was far to caught up in the events of the summer for my liking and given he does not lift a bat or bowl a ball in the game he should not be the supreme overlord or any such thing. Unlike a lot of people I prefer to attribute our recent success mostly to one Andy( strauss) not two.

  • sunnysideuppp on November 20, 2012, 16:45 GMT

    when will the indian selectors start having such foresight??

  • on November 20, 2012, 16:42 GMT

    interesting ! break ? in mid-tour session? are we going to witness an end of Andy flower episode ? ECB needs to reconsider this.

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  • on November 20, 2012, 16:42 GMT

    interesting ! break ? in mid-tour session? are we going to witness an end of Andy flower episode ? ECB needs to reconsider this.

  • sunnysideuppp on November 20, 2012, 16:45 GMT

    when will the indian selectors start having such foresight??

  • 2.14istherunrate on November 20, 2012, 16:48 GMT

    Why don't they give him from the end of the Tests in India to the start of NZ OdI's and not require him for t20's in India? Maybe even give him ODI's off in NZ. Halsall deputising for occasional game si s ok but as a full time successor, no way. I think one has to have played tests to a certain standard to get this job. Giles would be okay, but I would like to see the coach as less of an authority figure, and just ass a faciliiator. Flower was far to caught up in the events of the summer for my liking and given he does not lift a bat or bowl a ball in the game he should not be the supreme overlord or any such thing. Unlike a lot of people I prefer to attribute our recent success mostly to one Andy( strauss) not two.

  • Surajdon9 on November 20, 2012, 19:10 GMT

    Give rest to all england players too..

  • on November 20, 2012, 19:13 GMT

    The excuses for England's loss are already being made now. If they lose the series they can use the ready made prepared excuse of "we lost because Flower was overworked and it caused mental issues amongst all the players. We're like a big happy family and if Flower's not right, we're not right"

  • ashes61 on November 20, 2012, 19:59 GMT

    I'm in favour of this idea of short breaks. With such importance given these days to non-Test cricket, even T20 now, and his involvement in preparation & planning for all three, he gets less time off than any of his players. And because all series seem so high profile nowadays (even NZ) the pressure never goes. When does he sees his family? Most internat'l coaching appointments are quite short these days, so I'd be in favour of anything which prolonged his tenure. Maximum6: Flower provided the conditions in which Strauss's leadership could thrive. Think of the mess they had to turn round when they both took over. I think it was a joint effort & that Flower was very necessary at that time. We owe him a great deal. You'd obviously prefer a different job description - that's fair enough but while his job is what it is he must have the say he gets at the moment, which means a big say in team discipline. Note that AUS are now closer to our system. Prash Smith: Don't be silly, please.

  • RICK69 on November 20, 2012, 20:08 GMT

    Flower should be permanently rested.His time has come & gone.

  • TontonZolaMoukoko on November 20, 2012, 21:18 GMT

    Prash Smith - No excuses being made, we lost the 1st test (and will most probably lose the series) because we're not as good as India in Indian conditions. It is just sensible to rest both the playing and coaching staff when necessary for non-important series - which an ODI series over 2 years away from a World Cup is.

  • whoster on November 20, 2012, 21:31 GMT

    @Prash Smith. I haven't heard any excuses being made about Flower's workload contributing to England's poor performance. In fact, I've not read any reports or articles blaming anything except the players own performance. Still, if you want to make excuses that aren't there, that's up to you.

  • Baundele on November 20, 2012, 21:35 GMT

    beginning of the end for Flower in England color.