Former Zimbabwe captain Andy Flower
has been appointed the head coach of the yet-to-be-named Lucknow IPL franchise. Flower is the first appointment on the coaching staff by the Lucknow franchise, which was bought by Indian business conglomerate RP Sanjiv Goenka Group (RPSG) in August for nearly USD 1 billion
Sanjiv Goenka, RPSG's owner, told ESPNcricinfo that Flower's contract is "longer", although he didn't specify the exact duration. In a media release, Goenka said Flower was chosen because of his "professionalism" and that he had "left an indelible mark" on the game as both a player and coach.
Flower said he would "relish the challenge to build something meaningful and successful" with the Lucknow franchise, one of the two new IPL teams, along with the Ahmedabad franchise, who will debut in 2022.
Flower is no newcomer to the IPL. He served as the assistant coach for two seasons at Punjab Kings from 2020. Flower's high pedigree as a coach across formats is well-known: he was at the helm when England dominated Test cricket and were No.1 on the rankings about a decade ago as well as when Paul Collingwood's team won the 2010 World T20, England's maiden ICC trophy.
After serving in various coaching roles for 12 years with the ECB, Flower took the plunge into franchise cricket in 2019 where he has had a successful run so far. He was head coach at Multan Sultans who won their maiden PSL title earlier this year. He also led St Lucia Kings to two CPL finals in 2020 and 2021. Flower's latest international assignment was as a consultant with Afghanistan at the T20 World Cup
Flower might have cut his teeth as an international coach using techniques from the last century, but he has kept an open mind and adapted quickly to the new age. In a recent interview with ESPNcricinfo
, Flower acknowledged the importance of data in cricket, but stressed that "looking after the person" still remained his primary job.
"When I was with England, we wanted to approach the game differently, and help us as coaches to understand the game to a different depth and breadth, and also help players challenge their understanding of the game," he said. "In this last period, it's an important part of it. But you can never forget that you're dealing with human beings. One of the most important things I've learned in my years of coaching is that looking after the person is more important than developing the player. It's a really important thing to learn as a coach because it drives how you interact with people, and how you care for them."