England Cricket Coach Flower Quits Following Ashes Series Rout

Andy Flower quit as England cricket coach following the 5-0 Ashes series loss in Australia, the England and Wales Cricket Board said.

Flower informed the ruling body of his decision today, according to a statement on the ECB’s website. He may remain in the England setup in a new role, the board 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,” Flower said in the statement.

Flower, 45, resigned from his post after meeting with incoming ECB Managing Director Paul Downton this week, the board said. Downton, a former JPMorgan Cazenove Ltd. executive, is now tasked with rebuilding the England setup ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup which starts in Bangladesh in March.

“We at the ECB are very disappointed to see him leave the role as team director,” Downton said. “We are at advanced stages of negotiating a role for Andy within the ECB structure which will best utilize his undoubted skills.”

A former international Test captain for Zimbabwe, Flower was appointed in 2009 and guided the team to three consecutive Ashes series wins before the recent rout in Australia. He also oversaw England’s tournament victory in the 2010 Twenty20 World Cup, before also leading the side to No. 1 in the Test rankings in 2011.

Humiliation

England started its recent series in Australia as the favorite, having won last year’s home Ashes series 3-0. It ended in humiliation as the team suffered heavy defeats in all five matches, with two senior players, Jonathan Trott and Graeme Swann, quitting the tour mid-series.

England’s top-order batsmen, including Cook, the captain, all had disappointing series.

Australia sealed the rout by winning the final Test match in Sydney earlier this month.

England also slumped to a 4-1 loss to Australia in a subsequent one-day international series, which ended last week, and trails 2-0 in a Twenty20 series with one game remaining. Former England spinner Ashley Giles is head coach in the shorter formats.

In today’s statement, Flower said he believes the new head coach should be responsible for all formats of the game.

“Having stepped aside from the limited-overs squads 14 months ago that is not something I am able to do,” Flower said.

Flower was appointed in April 2009 following a three-month stint as temporary coach. Since then, England won 30 Test matches, lost 16 and drew 15. The side is now fourth in Test rankings, behind South Africa, India and Australia.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Priechenfried in London at bprie@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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