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The Ashes 2010-11

Flower has cancerous growth removed

Andrew Miller in Brisbane

November 26, 2010

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Andy Flower looked ahead to the challenge of the Ashes tour, Lord's, October 25, 2010
Andy Flower is expected to rejoin the squad by the end of the Test © Getty Images
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England's coach, Andy Flower, was forced to miss the second day of the opening Ashes Test at the Gabba after undergoing an operation to remove a cancerous growth, or melanoma, in his right cheek.

According to an ECB spokesman, Flower, 42, noticed the growth earlier this week during the final days of England's build-up for the series, and opted to undergo a precautionary operation at a local Brisbane hospital. He is expected to rejoin the squad before the end of the Test.

"As far as he is concerned, it is business as usual," said the spokesman. "He was not at the game today, because he had a melanoma taken out - which was successful. At this stage, he is expected to be fine.

"He went off for a routine check, and they said they felt it prudent to take it out," said the spokesman. "He may well be back on deck tomorrow, or most definitely the following day."

The early removal of such growths is usually almost 100% effective to combating the disease, and the prevention of skin cancer is an issue that is widely promoted in Australia.

In his absence, the fielding coach Richard Halsall has been put in temporary charge of the squad.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo.

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Andrew Miller Andrew Miller was saved from a life of drudgery in the City when his car caught fire on the way to an interview. He took this as a sign and fled to Pakistan where he witnessed England's historic victory in the twilight at Karachi (or thought he did, at any rate - it was too dark to tell). He then joined Wisden Online in 2001, and soon graduated from put-upon photocopier to a writer with a penchant for comment and cricket on the subcontinent. In addition to Pakistan, he has covered England tours in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007
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