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Andrew Strauss questions 'strange' decision to put Andy Flower in charge of England hopefuls

Flower will coach the England Lions against Sri Lanka 'A' and New Zealand 'A' but his former captain admits he is surprised to see him so close to the England squad

Andrew Strauss has questioned England’s decision to put Andy Flower in charge of the next group of Test hopefuls this week.

Strauss and Flower were one of the most successful captain-coach partnerships in English cricket, leading the team to two Ashes victories and to the top of the world Test rankings in their spell in tandem from 2009 until 2012.

Strauss quit as skipper in August 2012 and Flower stepped away after Australia’s 5-0 whitewash in last winter’s Ashes. Yet Flower is still on the ECB staff and raised eyebrows when he was named in charge of the England Lions side for two 50-over matches against Sri Lanka ‘A’ and New Zealand ‘A’.

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“I was a little surprised,” said Strauss on Sky Sports. “He’s a fine coach and the players can learn a lot from him, but it’s slightly strange that he is so intimately involved in the England set-up.

“With the counties all playing, it was difficult for the ECB to know who to coach that side. Andy Flower is mainly doing a leadership-mentoring sort of role at the ECB, and England will get the benefit of him working with the younger age groups.

“The Under-19 and the Under-17 sides will be perfect for him to be sharing his vast experience on the game of cricket.”