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'Had talks with India before Eng deal'

AFP
May 05, 2011 at 09:34pm IST

London: Andy Flower revealed on Thursday he had had been in discussions about the possibility of succeeding Gary Kirsten as coach of India before committing his future to England.

Former England boss, and Flower's fellow Zimbabwean, Duncan Fletcher was appointed to take over from former South Africa batsman Kirsten last week.

That ended the speculation surrounding Flower, with the England and Wales Cricket Board announcing he'd renewed his contract after two successful years in charge that have seen England lift the 2010 World Twenty20 title and, more recently, win a first Ashes series in Australia since 1986/87.

Flower had talks with India before Eng deal

"I did have communication with India about that job, but it was very clear in my mind where my immediate future lies," Flower said.

"I'm really excited and always have been about being involved in English cricket," former Test batsman Flower, who played for county side Essex, told reporters here on Thursday.

"I did have communication with India about that job, but it was very clear in my mind where my immediate future lies," added Flower, who will be working alongside three captains after it was announced that Alastair Cook and Stuart would be the new skippers of England's one-day and Twenty20 teams respectively, with Andrew Strauss continuing to lead the Test side.

"I think we have done good things in my two years as head coach, but there is huge potential for growth for England cricket.

"We are ranked number three, our goal is to be ranked number one and for us to get there we are going to have to improve in various aspects of the game and we are going to have to be very hungry and driven towards that goal.

"In limited overs yes, we are Twenty20 champions, but that guarantees us nothing for the (Twenty20) World Cup in 18 months and that is going to be held in the sub-continent (in Sri Lanka).

"We have just come from a competition there where we didn't perform anywhere near to our potential (England suffered a 10-wicket quarter-final thrashing by Sri Lanka in the 50-over World Cup). We are going to have to address that."

Flower and Fletcher will go head-to-head when England host India in Test and one-day international series starting in July.

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