sport

Hussain hails Ash appointment

Former England captain Nasser Hussain has backed Ashley Giles' appointment as limited overs head coach.

But he does not believe it necessarily means he is being lined up as Andy Flower's successor.

Giles will take over in the shorter formats in a restructure that sees Flower concentrate on Test matches but also retain an "accountability for the results of England cricket".

Flower has previously stated his desire to dilute his role, which will now allow the 44-year-old to spend more time with his young family.

Hussain believes that desire for a work-life balance was at the heart of today's restructure - rather than any succession plan - with Flower and his team facing a hectic 2013 schedule.

England will embark on back-to-back Ashes series, a home Champions Trophy and home-and-away series against New Zealand amongst other appointments in the next 12 months.

"I don't think that they (the ECB) were sitting there thinking 'Who is going to replace Andy Flower?"' Hussain told Sky Sports News.

"I think it is slightly the other way around where they are sitting there thinking 'We have a good man in Flower, we have two Ashes series home and away coming up and we need him full of energy for that'.

"We've also got an ICC Champions Trophy in England and we need someone full of energy for that and we've got Ashley Giles.

"If that means a bit of future planning and succession planning then that's fine. We get the best of both worlds."

After a destabilising 2012, that has seen England lose their number one Test status and skipper Andrew Strauss to retirement, Hussain believes there was a danger Flower could have considered walking out on England completely.

While he believes Giles, who led Warwickshire to the LV= County Championship title last season, could one day replace the Zimbabwean he thinks retaining Flower was paramount to today's announcement.

"I think it is a good decision. He is an impressive man Flower and you do not want to lose him completely, especially after losing an impressive man in Strauss," Hussain added.

"For the two of them to go quickly would have been a bit too much to take.

"So anything to give Flower some energy. You look at the cricket coming up for England - I don't think one person can do that much planning.

"He won't want the sympathy vote that is for certain, but I do know that a coach is never 'off'.

"I would say an England coach has very little down time to spend with his family.

"The other thing I would add to that is that it is all well and good when you are winning in Australia 3-1 - the year is brilliant.

"But the last year has been difficult for Flower. It has taken a lot more out of him this last year than any other year on and off the field.

"I think the timing of that is important. Andy, like anyone else, needs a good life-work balance."

While Hussain does not believe Giles is immediately in the England hierarchy's thoughts as a future team director, he admitted the 39-year-old was well placed to one day take over.

"Ashley ticks every box. He's been very successful with Warwickshire as a coach," he said.

"He's played for England, he's been involved as a selector and been involved in the set-up of English cricket now for the best part of 15 years.

"Also Ashley has been involved in county cricket for three or four years now.

"Sometimes when I was captain and Duncan Fletcher was coach, when you just play for England, you don't get around the county circuit to see the young lads bursting on the scene.

"Ashley Giles would have seen them all through his Warwickshire days.

"His finger will be on the pulse for the next generation of England cricketers be it four-day or one-day cricket."