Angus Fraser: We had a run-in but it only led me to respect Andy Flower more

News of Flower’s departure has saddened me

Andy Flower remained incredibly professional and committed to England’s cause right up until his departure as team director.

I and other relevant parties met Flower only last week to discuss the way forward for Steven Finn, following the fast bowler’s early return from England’s tour of Australia. Flower did not give the slightest hint that his days in charge of the side were coming to an end. It was obvious he had spent time preparing for the meeting and his interest in Finn’s welfare and rehabilitation were genuine.

News of Flower’s departure has saddened me, not only because he is a high-quality coach and leader but also because he is bloody good man. Flower did not need to wear black armbands whilst playing for Zimbabwe in the 2003 World Cup, a protest made to state the “ Death of Democracy in Zimbabwe”, to highlight the fact he was a man of high morals. And it has been his values, as much as his coaching, that helped turn England into the best cricket team in the world.

Andrew Strauss is a man of similar qualities and it was he and Flower who set the standards for English cricket. The pair took pride, respect, commitment, organisation, planning and attention to detail to another level while running the England team. Both are proud men who gave English cricket everything they had. In return they expected loyalty and total commitment from all those who worked with them, and in the main they got it. The highlight of their time together and Flower’s reign as team director came when England defeated Australia 2-1 in the 2010-11 Ashes.

As with most successful people, Flower knew what he wanted and had the utmost belief that what he was doing was right. This meant he was quite hard to deal with on some occasions. I will never forget an afternoon on the phone to him in 2010. Again, it concerned Steven Finn, but this time it was about the England and Wales Cricket Board’s decision to withdraw Finn from county cricket to take part in a six-week strength and conditioning course. We had differing views on what Finn should be doing and this came to a head when the fast bowler was not bowling very well when he returned to playing.

Flower and I had a lengthy phone call which ended with us agreeing to disagree in a rather frank and uncomplicated way. I sat down to continue with my work when my phone rang again. Once again it was Flower, and my first thought was “what have I done wrong now?”

Fortunately, the call had nothing to do with Finn. He was calling to ask whether it would be possible for Middlesex to find a place in our side in a coming game for Kevin Pietersen. This was because Hampshire were refusing to select Pietersen after he had informed them he was leaving the club at the end of the season. I said that I would go away to think about it.

Following the second call I sat back in my chair and chuckled. My estimation of Flower had gone up hugely. Here was not a petty man who held grudges. Here was a man who had a job to do and did it to the best of his ability.

He got his thoughts out in the open, gave you his opinion, took on board what you had to say, agreed or disagreed with you and then moved on. Since those phone calls I have had an excellent relationship with him.

Leaving his position will not have been an easy decision for Flower as he was committed and proud to do the job. Only he will know whether he had any more to give to the England team. His departure will leave a huge hole that will require a special person to fill. And so the cycle begins again.


Who could replace Flower as head coach?

 

 

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn