Andy Flower helped St Lucia Kings reach finals of CPL in two consecutive seasons in 2020 and 2021
Former Zimbabwe skipper, Andy Flower has been named as the head coach of the newly-inducted Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise of Lucknow. The former Zimbabwean player-turned coach, who has had a luminary coaching career is now the first appointment of the Lucknow franchise ahead of their debut in the 2022 edition of IPL.
Flower, who was the assistant coach of the Punjab Kings, had parted ways with them earlier this month. He served as the assistant coach for two seasons at Punjab Kings between 2020-21.
“It is correct, Andy has left Punjab Kings. He wanted to explore other opportunities and we respect that,” Punjab Kings co-owner Ness Wadia told Cricbuzz over Flower’s departure from the franchise.
Daniel Vettori was also considered for the role
Flower was amongst the two shortlisted candidates alongside Daniel Vettori for the role of head coach. The newly-formed IPL team Lucknow was formed in October, 2021 after the Indian business conglomerate RP Sanjiv Goenka Group (RPSG) won the bid for the franchise for a staggering Rs 7090 crores.
"I am incredibly excited to be joining the new Lucknow franchise and I am very grateful for the opportunity. Since my very first tour to India in 1993, I have always loved touring, playing, and coaching in India," Flower said in a statement.
The RPSG-owned franchise has stated that Flower’s appointment has been done as a visionary investment, although Sanjiv Goenka, the franchise owner did not specify his contract. Goenka stated that Flower’s appointment was done only because of his “professionalism" and that he had "left an indelible mark" on the game as both a player and coach.
"As a player and a coach, Andy has left an indelible mark in the history of cricket. We respect his professionalism and hope he will work with our vision and add value to our team," Sanjiv Goenka said.
The 53-year-old Flower also stated he would "relish the challenge to build something meaningful and successful" with the new IPL team in 2022.
Flower’s illustrious record as Coach
Flower has maintained unabated coaching success over the years. He played 63 Tests and 213 One Day International matches for Zimbabwe and scored 4794 and 6786 runs respectively in the given formats. He had two stints as the skipper of Zimbabwe and helped them register their first Test win against Pakistan in 1994-95.
He retired from international cricket in 2003 and switched to the coaching profession. His first international assignment as assistant coach was with England and he was later named as the side’s interim head coach for the West Indies tour in 2009. He was later promoted as full-time head coach of the England team. During his tenure, he helped England become the No. 1 team in the world, followed by victory in the 2010 T20 World Cup and exemplary success in the Ashes series in Australia in 2010-11 and a rare Test series win in India in 2012-13.
However, he parted ways with the England side in 2019 after 12 years of association with them and ventured into franchise-based T20 cricket. He went on to take up coaching roles in various T20 leagues around the world including IPL, Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and Pakistan Super League (PSL). His success has been over par as under his able guidance, Multan Sultans won their maiden title in PSL in 2021.
He also heralded St Lucia Kings to reach the finals of CPL in two consecutive seasons in 2020 and 2021. Moreover, he was appointed as the consultant of the Afghanistan cricket team for the 2021 T20 World Cup.
The RPSG group is yet to name its newly bought Lucknow franchise which will make its debut along with the Ahmedabad franchise in IPL 2022.