Players may be rested says Flower

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The Independent Online

Andy Flower admits some of England's key players may have to be rested for parts of this year's hectic international schedule.

Andrew Strauss will return to captain England in the two-Test series against Bangladesh next week after a four-month absence from the game.

The Middlesex opener decided to take a rest from internationals following a punishing 12 months in which he led England to series wins over Australia and West Indies before earning a creditable draw in South Africa.

The likes of Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood and Graeme Swann have all been regular fixtures in the side over the last 12 months.

Their workload shows no signs of being reduced over the next year with England due to play Bangladesh, Pakistan and Australia in a series of ODIs, Tests and Twenty20 matches.

That could lead to some of the most important players in the team being allowed to rest throughout the summer ahead of this winter's Ashes campaign in Australia.

"We have a very busy 12 months ahead of us and we are going to have to rest players at various times," England team director Flower told a press conference yesterday.

"In certain situations it is possible that we will have to rest some players either for emotional reasons such as stress and sometimes it will be for strength and conditioning reasons.

"With our schedule it will be hard to fit enough strength and conditioning in."

Victorious captain Collingwood and the rest of his team-mates touched down at London Gatwick yesterday after winning the ICC World Twenty20 tournament in the Caribbean.

The win was England's first international trophy in history but the Durham man is now hungry for more success.

He said: "The players are desperate to continue this kind of form and this brand of cricket and hopefully that will take us on to win a lot of silverware in the future.

"The brand of cricket that we played in the Twenty20 is something we have to keep trying to improve," he continued.

"It has been successful in this tournament but we have to adapt it to different conditions now.

"We have a World Cup coming up now on the subcontinent and so I'm pretty certain that (ODI and Test captain) Andrew Strauss and (team director Andy Flower) will want us to continue with that same brand of cricket.

"It's only another 30 overs on top of what we have been playing in the last few weeks so I'm sure that if we can go out with the same mentality we will go out and scare a lot of sides with the way we play."