Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Flower's Journey to World Domination

The big headline news from the world of cricket today is that Andy Flower has extended his contract as England team director. While there have been a few sensationalist tweets (as there will for any story regarding international cricket) it certainly hasn't been met with a wave of shock. Flower's job with England, as successful as it has been already, is only partway through. And having only just turned down the India job, it's hardly a massive shock that he wants to stay with the England team.

If there's one thing which I could pick as a buzzword for Andy Flower's time as England head honcho (I know buzzwords are more Peter Moore's thing, but deal with it), it would be "stability". England have had a settled side in which everyone knows what they're doing, and there hasn't been chops and changes willy-nilly. Even big selectorial decisions, such as dropping Finn for Melbourne was meticulously planned, well thought-out and made with the minimum of fuss. It's not Andy Flower's way to shout and scream and rock the boat. Leaving suddenly or demanding a pay rise just isn't his way, which has been proved by today's announcement that he is to remain loyal to his players and remain as England boss.

Since taking over just about two years ago, Flower has had unbridalled success. Yes, he's won two Ashes and a World T20, but you get the impression that the job is still only mid-way through completion. Flower's ultimate aim is to create a side that dominates world cricket like the West Indian side of the 70s and the Australians during the 00s. As well as England have done in the past two years, the poor display at the World Cup showed that we're a long way off reaching world domination. This summer, in series against arguably the two best teams in the world, plus playing the pretenders to the throne summer next gives Flower the opportunity to see how far along his steeds have come.

Flower seems a man with immense loyalty to his players, and abandoning them suddenly only part way along the journey just isn't his style. He, in the Andocracy with captain Strauss, can lead this England team to hugely bigger and better things, even bigger and better than what's already been achieved. Make no mistake, Flower is in for the long haul, and for an England fan, this can only be seen as brilliant news.

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