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Flower gets nod as new England team director

FORMER Zimbabwe wicketkeeper Andy Flower was confirmed as England's new team director by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) yesterday.

Flower, part of the England coaching set-up for two years, was in temporary charge of the team on the recent tour of the West Indies after Peter Moores was sacked in January.

Moores' exit was prompted by his deteriorating relationship with Kevin Pietersen, who relinquished the captaincy as a result.

"Andy Flower has accepted the role of team director with immediate effect," ECB Managing Director Hugh Morris told reporters at news conference at Lord's in London.

"As a player Andy became ranked the No. 1 batsman in the world and the ECB believe he has the vision, drive and ambition to be just as successful in his new post."

Flower, 40, said lots of big decisions and hard work were needed at the start of a summer that culminates with a home Ashes series against Australia.

"At the start of the West Indies tour I didn't know whether I wanted to apply for this job or not but halfway through I made my mind up that I did," said Flower. "I'm ambitious for England cricket and very honored to be given this position.

"I believe that the last three months will stand me in good stead."

Morris said there had originally been 30 applicants for the position but declined to say how many of those were interviewed for what is one of the top jobs in world cricket.

"We had a great deal of interest and were happy with the level of candidates but we believe we have the right man for the job. Andy was a world class cricketer and we believe he can become a world class coach."

Flower will have precious little time to bed in before the serious business begins. He must choose a captain for the Twenty20 World Cup, select the squad for the West Indies series and prepare England for the visit of Australia. "It's not going to be an easy year but it will be a very exciting one," he said. "We have a little time to try and get some momentum going for the Ashes."

England's series loss in the Caribbean means it is languishing in sixth place in the ICC's test rankings.


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