London, Jan 31 IBNS | 11 months ago

Following the 5-0 Ashes whitewash by former world champions Australia, Andy Flower stepped down as England Team Director on Friday.

'Andy Flower has today informed the England and Wales Cricket Board that he wishes to step down after five successful years as England Team Director,' England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said in a statement on Friday.

Flower, who played 63 Tests and 213 ODIs for Zimbabwe over 11 years, began working with the national side in 2007 when he was appointed assistant coach to Peter Moores.

In 2009 the Zimbabwean was appointed England Team Director and during Flower's five year tenure England teams have achieved a number of significant milestones.

England has won the Ashes three times - in 2009 and 2013 at home and for the first time in 24 years in 2010/11 Andrew Strauss and Flower won the Ashes in Australia.

In 2011 England climbed to the top of the ICC Test rankings and in 2012 Alastair Cook's side won a Test series in India for the first time in 27 years.

England also claimed a first global title in 2010 when the team won the ICC World T20 in West Indies.

In December 2012 Flower handed over day to day responsibility for the limited overs teams to Ashley Giles who was appointed England ODI and T20 Head Coach leaving Flower to focus on the Test side.

Paul Downton, Managing Director England cricket, who met with Andy Flower this week, paid tribute to the England Team Director's record. Downton was quoted as saying by the ECB website: 'Andy has been the most successful coach in England's history and we at the ECB are very disappointed to see him leave the role as Team Director.'

'We respect his decision and the reasons for it but we are keen to keep Andy's experience and outstanding knowledge within the ECB. We are at advanced stages of negotiating a role for Andy within the ECB structure which will best utilise his undoubted skills,' Downton said.

Giles Clarke, the ECB chairman, said: 'Andy Flower has not only shown himself to be a coach of great quality but also a man of great integrity. He has led England to great successes during his reign as Team Director and I look forward to his continued input in the ECB's coaching structure.'

Andy Flower said: 'Following the recent very disappointing Ashes defeat it is clear to me that this is now time for England cricket, led by Alastair Cook, to rebuild with a new set of values and goals. The opportunity to start with a clean slate and begin to instil methods to ensure England cricket is moving in the right direction will be an incredibly exciting challenge for someone but I do not feel like I am in a position to undertake that challenge.'

'In order for England cricket to make significant progress I believe that the Team Director, together with the respective captains, needs to be responsible across all formats in order to positively influence the rebuilding process. This will ensure complete clarity and continuity across the squads and having stepped aside from the limited overs squads 14 months ago that is not something I am able to do and I do not therefore feel that starting the process would be in the best interests of all involved at what is a pivotal time for England cricket,' he said.

'This has been a very difficult decision to make and I remain committed to England cricket and would like to wish Alastair Cook and Paul Downton every success. I will remain in my position as a selector for the time being and am currently exploring possible roles within the ECB. The priority must now be to establish the direction and personnel needed to ensure England cricket moves forward,' Flower said.

(Posted on 01-02-2014)

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