Clarke explains Flower exit

Andy Flower's decision to resign as England team director was not influenced by the disastrous Ashes series in Australia, according to Giles Clarke.

The England and Wales Cricket Board chairman has insisted that Flower asked to stand down as he believed the role should encompass all three formats of the game.

The Zimbabwean relinquished control of the limited-overs side to Ashley Giles late in 2012 to concentrate solely on the Test side.

But following recent discussions with new ECB managing director Paul Downton, Flower decided there should be one team director for all three international set-ups.

"This was Andy's decision," Clarke said at a press conference in Melbourne.

"Andy has been concerned that because there are players who go across formats, and of course the management team go across formats.

"It is extremely important to have the same culture in the England side in terms of preparation, management and the way they approach everything and the way they relate to each other.

"I think since December 2012, when we decided with Andy to split the roles, we've learnt quite a lot about what it is like to divide those roles and he felt it was now important to bring the roles back together and it was better that way.

"He felt going forward - in the new (captain Alastair) Cook era - that the three formats should be unified under one coach. That was his fundamental decision.

"Once that decision had been reached and he didn't want to be coach of all three, it was clear what his next decision would be."


Clarke did not put a timeframe on when a successor would be appointed, although England have time on their hands.

Giles will continue in his role of the limited-overs coach for the forthcoming tour of the Caribbean and then the World Twenty20, while England do not have a Test match until they take on Sri Lanka in June.

"Paul Downton will take full charge of that (succession) process," Clarke added.

"We don't play any Test cricket until June so we have quite a break, so we'll be focusing on the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.

"That process is pretty clear."

Giles is the firm favourite to be installed as England's new team director for all international cricket, and Clarke admitted the former spinner was "a very strong candidate.

"Ashley is a very valued employee of the ECB, we all have the highest regard for him both as a man and as a coach.

"He is a man of great integrity and great capabilities. He played a lot of cricket for England and is very respected in the game.

"Paul Downton will conduct a proper process. There may well be other outstanding candidates that emerge. It will be a matter for Paul and those he chooses to advise him on that to decide who the right person is."

Cook backed

Clarke also backed Alastair Cook to remain as skipper of the Test and ODI teams despite his torrid winter in Australia, while Flower is expected to be given a role within the player development set-up at Loughborough.

"That will emerge. You will all be fully briefed once Paul and Andy have completed their discussions," he said.

"Clearly Andy has huge coaching abilities. He was the national batting coach and had his own extraordinary accomplishments playing Test cricket as a batsman and wicketkeeper.

"He's also a great identifier and developer of leadership in young men and I think that's something we all agree we need to develop more of at Loughborough and in the counties."