x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Andy Flower will continue to bloom for English cricket

The ECB renews deal with the Zimbabwean as national coach in an effort to keep him from being poached.

LONDON // English cricket officials have secured the continuing presence of national coach Andy Flower after the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Tuesday they had agreed a new contract with the Zimbabwean.

Flower has been highly successful since taking over from Peter Moores in April 2009 and though he was already on a permanent contract, the ECB drew up a new deal in the wake of suggestions that he could be poached.

"Andy Flower has made a huge impact during his time as England team director and I am delighted that he has committed to the role and will be continuing to build on the considerable progress the England team has made during his time in the position," Hugh Morris, England's managing director, said in a statement.

"Andy's outstanding leadership, commitment and his open and honest approach have been key factors in the success the England squad has enjoyed over the last two years and I have no doubt that under his direction we will continue to see England improve as we strive to become the number one side in the world in all formats of the game."

Within months of his appointment Flower had overseen England's Ashes victory over Australia then in 2010 he led them to victory in the ICC World Twenty20 tournament in the West Indies.

A rare away Ashes series victory followed in 2010/2011 but there was disappointment too with a poor showing in the 50-over World Cup in Asia when England limped into the quarter-finals where they were thrashed by Sri Lanka.

During his period in charge England rose from sixth in the ICC Test rankings to third behind India and South Africa and climbed from sixth to fifth in the one-day rankings.

"When I was appointed I stated that I wanted to create a winning England team and I am very pleased with the advances we have made as a squad over the last two years in all formats of the game," Flower said.

"Regaining the Ashes in 2009 and retaining them last winter and the World Twenty20 title are obvious highlights, but there is still plenty more we want to achieve in the longer term.

"We have made no secret of our determination to become the number one side in the world and challenge for global titles and I feel we have been making steady progress.

"I firmly believe we have the talent amongst the playing squad and management team to help us realise our ambitions and am looking forward to testing ourselves against quality opposition this summer and beyond."

England have three Tests against Sri Lanka followed by a four-Test series against India, now led by former England coach Duncan Fletcher.