Stuart Broad hopeful Andy Flower does not reveal England secrets to Australia
Stuart Broad is crossing his fingers that Andy Flower “doesn’t give away too many secrets” after the former England coach crossed the Ashes divide to link up with Australia.
The Zimbabwean led England for five years between 2009 and 2014, taking the Test team to number one in the world and winning the urn on three occasions including an unforgettable victory Down Under in 2010/11.
He remained with the England and Wales Cricket Board in a variety of roles – including Lions coach, selector and interim director of cricket – before finally departing in 2019 to work as a freelance consultant coach.
The 55-year-old, who won last year’s Hundred with Trent Rockets, was spotted at Australia’s training session on Monday, helping them prepare for English conditions in this week’s World Test Championship final against India. It has also been confirmed that he will return during the Ashes series to work with the team.
Broad, who played much of his formative international cricket under Flower, accepts the appointment will be of some assistance to the tourists but pointed out that the current regime of Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes had changed things up significantly since he was last inside the dressing room.
“What’s he doing working for Australia? I didn’t know that,” he told the PA news agency at an event with new England sponsors Laithwaites.
“Andy is someone I learned a lot from early on in my career, he taught me a lot about how to stand up to the battle of Test match cricket. I really enjoyed working under him and winning Ashes series under him. He did a lot for English cricket in his time with Andrew Strauss as captain.
“Hopefully he doesn’t give away too many secrets! But the game has changed a lot in the last 12 months…I don’t think anyone knows any secrets on the way Brendon and Stokesy operate with this team. He’ll bring a lot of experience of Test grounds here and how the pitches play, I just hope he doesn’t share them.”
Australia captain Pat Cummins welcomed Flower’s involvement as a source of information ahead of the series.
“He’ll dip in and out, it’s a different voice,” he told reporters.
“He knows these conditions really well, hopefully knows the opposition. If he can give us one little bit of insight into playing in England that we haven’t thought about, then it’s worth it. We’re pretty lucky to have someone as experienced as Andy.”
England have no real cause for complaint, having imported their fair share of overseas coaches over the years. Australian David Saker is currently back in the England set-up as fast bowling coach for a second stint, having held the same role with the Baggy Greens in between.
“Sakesy knows a lot about the Aussie guys, he has a lot of respect the Australia players, but we’ve got players in our changing room who know more than the coaches with the amount we’ve played against them – Stokesy, Rooty, Jimmy Anderson and myself to name a few,” Broad added.
“There’s enough detail out there for everyone to know what’s going on.”
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