Flower not looking too far ahead

England coach has, ostensibly, confirmed he will not retire before the tour of Australia later this year.

England coach has, ostensibly, confirmed he will not retire before the tour of Australia later this year.

Flower works on a rolling contract with the England and Wales Cricket Board so is, at least in theory, frequently reviewing his plans.

But suggestions that the Zimbabwean could be reaching the final stages of his day-to-day involvement with the England side have started to be openly debated for the first time in recent days.

Flower was given the chance to confirm or deny he is set to exit his post after the next Ashes trip as he picked over the bones of his side's 3-0 home win over Australia on Monday, but did neither.

As a man who pores over his words and ponders ever question, Flower's ambiguity is unlikely to be accidental but he also has a mean poker face and reading his intentions was not easy as he discussed his future.

"I don't look that far ahead to be honest," said Flower, who relinquished control of the one-day side to Ashley Giles after being ground down by the demands of the full international calendar.

"No-one's here forever, no matter how great a player is or however great an managing director is or however a coach is going. We all move on.

"You never know what's just around the corner. I do take the responsibility that the ECB have given me very seriously and I'm supposed to make a difference to English cricket in a positive way.

"I'll continue to do that.

"This series has worked pretty well, we've won 3-0. That's the important thing. I'm still enjoying the job, very much so.

"There's always another exciting challenge around the corner and in this instance it is the Ashes away."

One possible route for Flower if he did leave would be the newly vacant managing director of England cricket job. The incumbent, Hugh Morris, is set to leave in the new year to become chief executive at Glamorgan but may yet have a role to play in selecting his successor.

If that is the case, it seems Flower and his former captain – Andrew Strauss – would be preferred candidates.

Both have been linked with administrative positions and Morris sees both men as a good fit.

"Both Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss are fantastic guys, I know them both well and I worked with them for a long time," Morris told <i>Press Association Sport</i>.

"Whatever job either of them wants to do they will do very well, no doubt about it.
"If they fancied this job, or applied, either of them would be great but that is for others to decide.