The Ashes 2013-14: Andy Flower issues Kevin Pietersen ultimatum

Tour fall-out reveals coach will continue only if controversial batsman is dropped after deterioration in their relationship

Sydney

Andy Flower is understood to be ready to walk away from his position as England's team director unless he is given guarantees that Kevin Pietersen will not be selected to play international cricket under him as the inquest into the 5-0 humiliation in the Ashes series begins in earnest.

Despite presiding over the shambolic tour that saw Alastair Cook's side meekly surrender the urn Down Under, Flower and his captain are both expected to be retained in their posts by the new managing director of England cricket, Paul Downton, as the team look to rebuild ahead of this summer's Test series against Sri Lanka and India.

However, Flower is believed to have already indicated that his relationship with Pietersen has soured to such an extent that he is not prepared to retain the batsman in any reconstructed side.

Pietersen – who finished as England's highest run-scorer in Australia with 294 at an average of 29.4 – got his retaliation in first as he posted a series of tweets stating he wanted to remain a part of the England team, insisting he was "determined to help regain the Ashes in 2015". Yet with Flower understood to have enjoyed an uneasy relationship with the 33-year-old ever since his controversial decision to make himself unavailable for one-day international matches last year in order to play in the Indian Premier League, it will fall to Downton to decide which horse to back.

Downton, who started in the role on 1 January, is due to conduct the ECB's internal review of the Ashes tour over the coming weeks – a process that will include speaking to every player and backroom staff. The new chairman of selectors, James Whitaker, will also have a role to play, although much could depend on whether Pietersen indicates a desire to play in the lucrative IPL.

England players are encouraged to spurn any approaches to play in April and May's IPL in order to prepare for the summer Tests, with Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes believed to have already indicated they will do so. Pietersen could, therefore, effectively bring down the curtain on his England career by accepting the call from the IPL, although his actions suggested he is not prepared to do that yet as he tries to become the first England player to reach 10,000 runs.

He tweeted a link to former England captain Michael Vaughan's column in a national newspaper that urged England not to dispense with the services of their most talented batsman, even suggesting that Pietersen should be given a role with more responsibility.

"I'd get him more involved – make him vice-captain," Vaughan repeated in a BBC interview. "But my fear is that England will make him the scapegoat and feel the only way they can move forward is without him. They have to be careful. This isn't football. You can't just go out and buy a world-class No 4 batsman."

However, after being dropped by Flower for the final Test against South Africa after the 2012 "text-gate" scandal, reports of dressing room disagreements with the coach in Australia after several soft dismissals could mean his England Test days are over.

News
news

Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

News
people

Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'

Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling is releasing a new Harry Potter story about Dolores Umbridge
arts + entsJK Rowling to publish new story set in wizard's world for Halloween
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites those Star Wars rumours
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
people

Thought you'd seen it all after the Jeremy Paxman interview?

Arts and Entertainment
On The Apprentice, “serious” left the room many moons ago and yet still we watch
tv

Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent

Life and Style
tech

Voices
Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into conflicts
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from David Ayer's 'Fury'
film

"History is violent," says the US Army tank commander Don "Wardaddy" Collier

News
The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
football

Striker's four-month ban for biting an opponent expires on Friday

News
news
News
peopleFox presenter gives her less than favourable view of women in politics
News
George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin married in Venice yesterday
peopleAmal and George Clooney 'planning third celebration in England'
Property
One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
property
Sport
Erik Lamela celebrates his goal
football

Argentinian scored 'rabona' wonder goal for Tottenham in Europa League – see it here

News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker