Flower named England cricket team director

April 15th, 2009 - 8:57 pm ICT by IANS  

London, April 15 (IANS) Former Zimbabwe captain Andy Flower has been named as the England team director by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
Flower said his immediate goal is to bring England back on the winning track.

The stand-in coach was confirmed in the job on a permanent basis at a press conference at Lord’s. Hugh Morris, England Cricket managing director, announced the appointment.

“I am delighted that Andy has accepted the role,” Morris said.

“I had the privilege of seeing Andy work with the England team during the recent Caribbean tour and he impressed not only me but also the players, the backroom staff, management and the ECB officials who were out there.

“He is a man of great cricketing pedigree as well as a man of unquestionable integrity. He will provide the outstanding leadership that England require as we embark on this most exciting and challenging of years,” he said.

Flower, 40, was assistant coach under Peter Moores who was sacked after a fall-out with Kevin Pietersen, who resigned from captaincy. Flower was made the head of the coaching staff for the recent tour of the Caribbean.

“It is a great honour to be appointed to this role. I understand the history of cricket in this country and I am very proud to be given this responsibility.

“I recognise that all the hard work is ahead of me. I want to create a winning England team.

“The most important thing is not just getting the job but doing a good job for England in the weeks, months and years to come.

“We will all now be focused on working extremely hard as we all try to improve our position in the world rankings.”

Flower is known to have enjoyed a good relationship with Test and one-day international captain Andrew Strauss since he succeeded Kevin Pietersen around the same time.

And despite a 1-0 defeat in the Test series against West Indies, the pair have impressed the ECB bosses in making strides towards a more settled England camp.

This culminated in a 3-2 one-day series victory over the Caribbean side last month, with Flower praised in many quarters for his work behind the scenes in pulling together a somewhat fractured dressing room.

The timing of the appointment gives Flower and Strauss the chance to work towards building a solid base for the return series against West Indies in May, which will be followed by the World Twenty20 and then the Ashes against Australia later in the summer.

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