Tim Ellis has gained access to Andy Flower's trusted diary. It shows the turmoil of a tour that has been anything but fun.
When England were regularly piling up scores of 400-plus and taking 20 wickets, Andy Flower's methodologies and micromanagement were not questioned.
Before leaving for Australia he said: "One of our principles s constant improvement. We want to have fun too, and part of that fun is improving ourselves."
Tim Ellis has gained access to Flower's trusted A4 diary. It shows the turmoil of a tour that has been anything but fun.
<b>20 November:</b> Eve of first Test. Met with Cooky who met with me who met with team psychologist who met with general approval. Meetings are so important. We have meetings to discuss the types of meetings we will be meeting about so that our objectives and team dynamics are, er, met.
<b>24 November:</b> Lost first Test by three hundred and something. Important to receive feedback and share views within a constructive and healthy environment. Jimmy's swear box is full to the brim. I am looking for transparency after defeat so we can construct a mind map that will direct us to one common goal. Steven Finn draws a football pitch. Lateral thinking. I like it.
<b>25 November:</b> Jonathan Trott approached me. I thought he was going to ask about how to grow within the bubble of Team England. Instead, he talked about being unable to execute his plans. I listened and took studious notes. I came to the logical conclusion that this is not the best environment for him to improve his average. We wished him well with the proviso that he goes away and score lots of runs in front of his Xmas tree at home.
<b>9 December:</b> Lose at Adelaide. We have a full inquest in our dressing room with the bowling machine called David Saker. Daddy Hundred Gooch regales us all with the umpteenth recollection of how he scored 333 against India. The opposition sing a victory song possibly fuelled by beverages that are not listed in our 82 page booklet. We remain calm and composed. Our cardio team measure KP's heart rate as he speaks about the fight back. It never rises. Inspiration is never far away in Team England.
<b>13 December:</b> Lose our third toss in a row at Perth. How can we control the match if we are not allowed to have a bat first and grind every bowler, fielder, spectator and cricket scorer into the dust? It is just not right how that Australian coin is weighted. The ICC needs a good look at that. Matches can be won and lost by the Fremantle doctor. Most of our players may well need a doctor.
<b>17 December:</b> I have pre-programmed the possibility of losing the Ashes after three matches and the equation, based on our research and development team, was not computing in any format. We will look at the statistical analysis and the laws of probability before commenting on whether the series has actually been lost. Despite this, we will remain very honest as a team.
<b>21 December:</b> I read Darren Lehmann insisted on a joke before play to ease the mood in Australia's camp. Graeme Swann told me a joke today. He said he was retiring. He does like a good joke. Gets a bit irritating when he repeats the same one over and over though. Eventually, I had to pretend it was funny. Then he started crying. I made him feel better by suggesting his bowling average is still 0.04 below 30. Australia is a wonderful country to tour but all of our players want to leave. I'm trying to stagger it.
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