Andy Flower: "I knew Strauss was thinking of retiring"
England cricket coach Andy Flower today spoke of his sadness at the retirement of Andrew Strauss as England cricket captain.
In an interview with The Big Issue shortly after Strauss made the announcement at Lord’s that he would retire from all forms of the game, Flower said:
“When Andrew came to tell me his final decision I did feel emotional. We’ve been through a lot together and when you are joint leaders of a Test team you go through a lot of heartache: you spend time together; you disagree; you have big ups and downs; you win and you lose. To have someone next to me who I could trust completely was really important to me.”
However, Flower said that he didn’t believe the 35-year-old’s decision to quit was prompted by the very public spat with fellow team-mate Kevin Pietersen earlier this summer.
The furore erupted when Pietersen admitted sending controversial text messages about Strauss to South African cricketers. Shortly afterwards Pietersen was dropped from the England Test squad.
Flower added: “Andrew spoke to me a few weeks ago and I knew he was going to go away for a few days to think. It was the right thing for him to do because he needed to get away from the hullabaloo of everything around here. I don’t think Pietersen is the main factor in this at all, and Strauss has said that publicly and privately to me and I believe him.”
Flower went on to cite Strauss’s poor batting form this season and the fact that “he didn’t feel he was on top of his game” as contributing factors.
Andrew Strauss led England to 24 Test victories during his leadership and captained a team that won the Ashes series both at home and in Australia. He is replaced by 27-year-old Alistair Cook with immediate effect.
Read more about Andy Flower in My Week in a forthcoming Big Issue