Flower No.1 contender to replace Kirsten: Report

April 19th, 2011 - 6:42 pm ICT by IANS  

London, April 19 (IANS) England team director and former Zimbabwe captain Andy Flower is the top contender to replace Gary Kirsten as the coach of the Indian cricket team, according to a media report.

‘The Telegraph’ here reported that the powerful Indian cricket board has shortlisted Flower for the high-profile job. Subsequently, the report has prompted the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to offer a fresh contract to Flower, who has been impressive in his role after taking over from Peter Moores in 2008. Another former England coach Duncan Fletcher is also in the race for the India job.

“Telegraph Sport understands Flower is due to meet Hugh Morris, the managing director of the England team, at the end of the month to discuss his long-term future and the direction of the England set-up,” the report said.

“It is thought that Flower is on a rolling staff contract which offers the same protection rights as any other full-time employee.

“Sources in India have indicated that Flower is on a shortlist to replace coach Gary Kirsten, who left after the World Cup final.

“Duncan Fletcher, one of Flower’s predecessors, is also on the BCCI’s list following a recommendation by Kirsten but Flower is the No.1 choice.”

According to the report, sources at the ECB expect Flower to commit to the new contract as coaching the Indian team attracts the most attention in international cricket.

“The ECB will be confident it can keep its man, partly because of the demands of the India job. Kirsten was allowed to commute from Cape Town to India but even if Flower were given the same freedom he would still be away from home for longer spells than he is at the moment.

“He would also have to endure the intense media scrutiny, the politics of Indian cricket and would not have anywhere near the same amount of power with his employer.”

Flower has guided England to two Ashes victories including the last one which came in Australia after 24 years. It was also under his supervision that England won their first major international in the World Twenty20 last year.

At the end of the Ashes series Flower had said: “Personally I don’t look much further forward than a few months.”

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