Andy Flower, a former Zimbabwe captain, has been hired head coach of the yet-to-be-named Lucknow IPL team. Flower is the first addition to the Lucknow franchise’s coaching staff after it was purchased for roughly $1 billion by Indian conglomerate RP Sanjiv Goenka Group (RPSG) in August.
Flower’s contract with RPSG is “longer,” according to Sanjiv Goenka, the club’s owner, who did not specify the length. Flower was chosen by Goenka due of his “professionalism” and the fact that he had “made an indelible impression” on the game as both a player and a coach, according to a press statement.
Flower said he would “enjoy the challenge of creating something meaningful and profitable” with the Lucknow franchise, which will debut in 2022 alongside the Ahmedabad franchise.
Flower isn’t a rookie in the IPL. From 2020 to 2021, he was the Punjab Kings’ assistant coach for two seasons. Flower’s coaching credentials are well-known: he was in charge when England dominated Test cricket and was ranked No. 1 in the world approximately a decade ago, as well as when Paul Collingwood’s team won the 2010 World T20, England’s first ICC championship.
Flower took the plunge into franchise cricket in 2019 after 12 years with the ECB in various coaching capacities. He has had a successful run so far. He was the head coach of the Multan Sultans, who won the PSL title for the first time earlier this year. In 2020 and 2021, he also led St Lucia Kings to two CPL finals. Flower’s most recent international job was with Afghanistan at the T20 World Cup as a consultant.
Flower may have started his career as an international coach employing strategies from the previous century, but he’s retained an open mind and rapidly adapted to the new era. Flower acknowledged the value of data in cricket in a recent interview with ESPNcricinfo, but insisted that “looking after the person” was still his first responsibility.
“We wanted to approach the game differently when I was with England, and enable us as coaches understand the game to a different depth and breadth, as well as challenge players’ understanding of the game,” he stated. “It’s been a big part of the last few years. However, you must never lose sight of the fact that you are dealing with people. One of the most significant lessons I’ve learnt as a coach is that taking care of the individual is more essential than improving the athlete. As a coach, it’s critical to understand because it influences how you engage with people and how you care for them.”