New Flower deal could mean missed tours

Posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , ,

When rumours began to circulate that Andy flower was a target for the BCCI to replace Gary Kirsten as the coach of India following the departure of the South African after the World Cup earlier this year the ECB were forced into action and offered the Zimbabwean a three-year deal.
But it has now emerged that for Flower to ignore the overtures of India and to sign a new deal with England will come at a price.
While the ECB are determined to keep hold of Flower and not let him slip through their grasp and into the hands of their rivals, it is rumoured that for the former Essex batsman to put pen to paper, the deal would have to include a condition allowing him to reduce his schedule to stay with his young family by sitting out lengthy tours abroad.
With a trip to India pencilled in for later this year and visits to Pakistan and Sri Lanka in early 2012, Flower, could conceivably miss out on the tour to India after a hectic summer which sees both Pakistan and India tour England.
While sports betting never suggested Flower would leave his post, he was vocal in his disapproval of the packed international calendar which saw his side go straight from their Ashes tour in Australia over the winter to the World Cup in Asia with some players given just a few days break – covered a period stretching from October 2010 to March this year.
Now spurred on by his refusal to commit his long term future to England after the Ashes – Flower said: “Personally I don't look much further forward than a few months.” – English cricket’s governing body look set to bow to his demands in order to keep him away from the lure of doubling his salary with India.
The duration of the three year deal would take in two Ashes tours but not the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. The deal would be unprecedented amongst English coaches but would follow in the footsteps of captain Andrew Strauss, who sat out the 2009/10 tour of Bangladesh, while players such as Steve Finn and Stuart Broad have also benefitted from prolonged breaks from the international circuit.
But how the England set up would work without flower present remains to be seen. Once the best batsman in the world, Flower is seen as instrumental to the success England have enjoyed of late, which includes winning the Twenty20 World Cup last year and winning the Ashes for the first time in Australia since 1986/87.
What the ECB’s managing director Hugh Morris will have to figure out is whether it is worth having Flower on a part-time basis or not at all. Morris will also be concerned that the team may suffer to motivate themselves in Flower’s absence, and finding it difficult to give it their all while their coach is at home.
Michael Vaughan expressed his fears over Flower’s future earlier this year, and believes he could suffer because of the hectic schedule.
I do fear for Andy," said Vaughan. "The last thing you'd want is to risk him passing on the reins because the job involves so much time away. It's important to keep him fresh.”
“But you look at the guys with young families and they are the ones who are going to be affected. I couldn't do the touring they do now." He added.
Meanwhile, India continue their search for a new coach, with former New Zealand batsman Stephen Fleming the new front runner according to sports bets.

The end of an era?

Posted: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , ,

This is the season of captains bidding adieu. On March 23rd, we heard Cricket Australia denied any chances of the controversial Aussie captain Ricky Ponting's retirement. On 29th, he resigned. The Sydney Morning Herald reported yesterday that Ponting, 36, was likely to face stiff opposition at boardroom level to retain his job for next month's tour of Bangladesh. Australian Cricketers' Association chief Paul Marsh said it was "gutless" and "irresponsible" for a Cricket Australia official to forecast the axing of the Australian captain so close to the team's World Cup clash with India. What does that tell us? Are CA and Ponting not on good terms? The resignation has come when Ponting has failed to hit an International century for 13 months. Ponting has had major highs and lows.

Ponting's  last words as captain:
It’s funny how we talk about losing the Ashes series three times.
Playing on three World Cup winning teams doesn’t come up very often, winning 16 consecutive Test matches doesn’t come up very much, winning 30-odd consecutive World Cup matches doesn’t come up very often. 
So right. He has experienced extremes, from losing to Bangladesh in the summer of '05 to winning World Cups. The one dream which will remain a dream is winning the Ashes in England, something Ponting himself referred to, as a dream. After losing the Ashes '09, he said he'd like to come back here in 2013 and accomplish his goal. Captains like him are rare. I personally hold a lot against him, he's annoying, too quarreling, extremely arrogant. He wants to win, by hook or by crook. But it's all for Australia. Not many are as patriotic and win hungry as this guy. Following him, Sri Lanka's Sangakkara has resigned as one-day and Twenty20 captain. Daniel Vettori has retired from Twenty20 cricket and resigned from one-day captaincy. He said he's almost sure that he won't captain NZ in Tests either. However, Tests are a big part of why he plays the game so he'll continue to do so. He has had to bear many disappoints as a captain. The most prominent being the whitewash by Bangladesh.

Rumours of England captain Andrew Strauss stepping down have been doing rounds ever since England went home from the World Cup. There is also word from the coach that his future as the one-day captain is being discussed. There are 2 and a half months to go for England's first ODI against Sri Lanka so Straussy has a lot of time of think.

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What do England need? Changes or something else?

Posted: Friday, April 1, 2011 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , ,

After fulfilling one of their earnest dreams, winning the Ashes down under, losing to the Aussies by 6-1 in a no one gives a damn series and their teetar-totter World Cup campaign, the English winter has finally come to an end. The players are relaxing back home.

Paul Collingwood's daughters were not too ecstatic by the prospect of reaching semi-finals. Here is what they said:

We hope you lose tomorrow, daddy. Then you can come home. 

While, their families are relieved, the cricketing fraternity is full of criticism. With not much happening in English cricket, the media is discussing who should be the next captain. The ones in contention are Stuart Broad and Alastair Cook. Yeah, you heard it right, Stuart baby dramatic Broad. Suggested by Michael Vaughan, who refuses to stop giving his senseless suggestions. He has a history of countless comments against Kevin Pietersen, ranging from saying the big bloke is insecure to reckoning he should be replaced by Eoin Morgan as an opener to citing his technique as a reason for his downfall. Stuart Broad is a winner, he is a fighter, but god knows if has the mind of a captain. He is 24, over-dramatic. Generally, when a player loses his composure, the captain confronts him. It will be the opposite if Broad will be the captain. If Strauss does step down as captain, which he should, Cook is my man. But hey, we are talking about one-day captaincy here and he wasn't even picked for World Cup! But if anyone can choose their captain before choosing the side, it's England as Strauss wasn't a part of the squad before he was chosen as captain. So he went from being a nobody during England's one-day series against South Africa at the end of the summer of '08 to captaining England in the Caribbean next year.

So, what after World Cup for England? Before their success in '09 and '10, they used to make changes every now and then. Probably because they have too many good players and only a few spectacular players. But the reason my mates, is rarely only one. The English are inconsistent and suffer from too many injuries. But that doesn't make them unlucky. Keeping themselves fit is part of their job. This year, too, the XI and even the 16 men world cup squad. They need solidification which can only be achieved with stability. So, no more changes!