Disastrous Ashes tour was not the reason Flower resigned, says Giles Clarke

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“This was Andy’s decision”

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Giles Clarke has revealed that the national team’s disastrous tour of Australia was not the reason why team director Andy Flower resigned.

Clarke insisted that Flower asked to step down as he believes there should be only one head coach across all three formats.

“This was Andy’s decision,” Clarke said. “Andy has been concerned that because there are players who go across formats, and of course the management team go across formats.

“It is extremely important to have the same culture in the England side in terms of preparation, management and the way they approach everything and the way they relate to each other.

“I think since December 2012, when we decided with Andy to split the roles, we’ve learnt quite a lot about what it is like to divide those roles and he felt it was now important to bring the roles back together and it was better that way.

“He felt going forward – in the new (captain Alastair) Cook era – that the three formats should be unified under one coach. That was his fundamental decision.

“Once that decision had been reached and he didn’t want to be coach of all three, it was clear what his next decision would be.”

Clarke added that ECB managing director Paul Downton will be in charge of finding Flower’s successor.

“Paul Downton will take full charge of that (succession) process,” he said. “We don’t play any Test cricket until June so we have quite a break, so we’ll be focusing on the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.

“That process is pretty clear.”

Clarke also hinted that limited overs coach Ashley Giles is one of the frontrunners to absorb Flower’s role.

“Ashley is a very valued employee of the ECB, we all have the highest regard for him both as a man and as a coach,” he said. “He is a man of great integrity and great capabilities. He played a lot of cricket for England and is very respected in the game.

“Paul Downton will conduct a proper process. There may well be other outstanding candidates that emerge. It will be a matter for Paul and those he chooses to advise him on that to decide who the right person is.”

Flower is now expected to be in charge of player development at the National Cricket Academy in Loughborough.

“That will emerge. You will all be fully briefed once Paul and Andy have completed their discussions,” Clarke said. “Clearly Andy has huge coaching abilities. He was the national batting coach and had his own extraordinary accomplishments playing Test cricket as a batsman and wicketkeeper.

“He’s also a great identifier and developer of leadership in young men and I think that’s something we all agree we need to develop more of at Loughborough and in the counties.”

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