It is challenging to overlook Andy Flower’s contribution to Zimbabwean cricket as one particular of their best batsman, if not the best. With a lot more than ten,000 runs in an global occupation spanning in excess of a decade, Flower place Zimbabwe on the worldwide cricket map.
Nevertheless, Flower’s influence on the game even just after his taking part in days is huge. The former left-hand batsman’s transition from a prosperous player to an even the a lot more prosperous coach is a blueprint for the ones who are on the lookout to go down that street. Getting won two Ashes — the two dwelling and away — as the head coach of England and major them to their to start with important ICC title — the T20 Globe Cup in 2010, Flower established his credentials as a top rated-class tactician.
In the latest previous, Flower has been connected with T20 leagues. From operating with Peshawar Zalmi to turning into the head coach of St Lucia Zouks, the former Zimbabwe cricketer is now on the lookout to crack the T20 code. Flower will be in action in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in UAE as he will join the Kings XI Punjab as the franchise’s assistant coach.
In an unique chat with indiatoday.in, Flower opens up about Caribbean Premier League, his part at St Lucia Zouks and what he thinks is an perfect captain-coach connection between other factors. Excerpts from the interview…
How energized are you about returning to aggressive action just after the enforced break due to the Covid-19 pandemic?
Yeah, it is been a prolonged break. It basically gave me a definitely wonderful time period of downtime. I invested a good deal of time with my loved ones. So, there was a advantage personally. I know that sounds selfish, provided there is so a great deal heartache and reduction throughout this time for lots of people today and lots of households. But so far, we have been quite fortunate. I have benefited from the downtime.
It was quite unusual not to have dwell sport and specially dwell cricket to be both concerned with or viewing. It is pretty to be back, meeting new people today and viewing a new side gel collectively which is fairly pleasing. So quite content to be back, excellent to be back in the Caribbean. So on the lookout forward to the CPL and the IPL straight afterwards.
Do you assume CPL 2020 is going to be the most-watched edition of the tournament?
I suppose it is fairly probable mainly because people today have been starved of top rated-high quality sport. At the CPL, there is top rated-high quality cricket and top rated-high quality cricketers concerned. I know it is a pity that we haven’t acquired the exceptional vibrancy of the Caribbean crowd to entertain all people in the ground and all people viewing on Television. But we nonetheless acquired an great item on Television. So far, we have some definitely thrilling cricket played. It is just the start off, a good deal of excellent things to come.
What do you assume of St Lucia’s Zouks outlook this season? How large an influence is Chris Gayle’s absence?
It is a pity that Chris Gayle pulled out but he had his good reasons. I assume individuals had been primarily based on paying time with his household and not remaining isolated from them for a prolonged time period of time. I assume our owners respected that. But what that does is, it offers other people today possibilities. For instance, there is a youthful Trinidadian batsman known as Mark Deyal who with out having a enormous score nevertheless has proven he is definitely talented. As we know, you are by no means fairly positive what is fantastic or terrible luck. Hopefully Mark will consider hold of individuals possibilities at the top rated of the purchase and we will see an additional thrilling left-handed batsman come to the fore.
Can you inform us a bit about Daren Sammy, provided you had previously worked with him in the PSL? What helps make him as prosperous as he has been as captain?
Yes, I worked with Daren in the quite to start with 12 months of Pakistan Super League. I worked as an assistant coach at Peshawar Zalmi and Daren was captain. Now it is definitely wonderful to get the job done as coach and captain. I have regarded Daren a tiny although. I have generally appreciated his firm. I enjoy his passion for the game. I like the reality that he has acquired this wonderful stability in between taking part in to win and remaining critical about having the most out of his staff. But he has also acquired a smile on his encounter. It is rather all the time. He is a serious constructive influence on any group. It is wonderful to see him operating with this new group that we are forming collectively. It is excellent entertaining forming a leadership partnership with Daren. He is the heartbeat of St Lucian cricket at the second. I would think about that even just after he retires, he would be central to St Lucian cricket for lots of many years to come.
Do you assume it is going to be challenging for gamers to cope with the ambiance due to the bio-safe protocols and lack of crowd? Is there a bit a lot more stress on the coach due to the present problem?
Very first of all, I do not assume there is a lot more stress on the coaches. It is just a unique atmosphere to coach in and there a handful of restrictions that make it a tiny a lot more challenging. So for instance, in advance of our to start with game in the CPL, we only had two practices, our third one particular was rained off. So for a new coach coming in, making an attempt to get to know youthful gamers, you can not come across a great deal footage on them, not lots of stats but they may well be quite talented. You get to fully grasp their prospective fairly speedily with out seeing a great deal of them. So that is quite tough.
Secondly, the rigid quarantine at the start off of this tournament was hard for some people today. Some people today consider it in their stride. But for some, remaining limited to your space for a week or ten days is fairly a prolonged time to be in one particular space. We experimented with to maximise communication and be certain people today had been okay. And that people today had been discovering means to search just after themselves, entertain themselves and every single other and hold a constructive frame of thoughts. And also, do a tiny bit physically, when they came out of quarantine, they could go straight into teaching to get prepared for the CPL.
Andy, can you inform us what you assume a coach’s part is?
The part is multi-faceted but it is mostly a leadership part. As a leader, you want to carry a group collectively with some sense of objective and course. There are also kinds of factors that are critical in leadership but a couple of the a lot more critical ones that I would highlight are building positive people today truly feel valued and building positive you are together with the management employees and the gamers informing your tactic. Generating positive gamers truly feel they have a voice in the course of the staff and their personal destiny. And that they truly feel empowered to make selections with out a coach or a leader regularly criticizing them or judging them as well harshly.
Giving framework, I assume is also critical mainly because just empowering gamers with quite tiny framework may possibly frequently lead to chaos. No one particular would like chaos. But as well a great deal framework could squash players’ talent — if they do not truly feel cost-free to make their personal selections, that would also be a difficulty and would restrict our probabilities of good results.
What is the perfect connection in between a captain and a coach?
I assume it is critical that the rest of the squad see that the coach and the captain have a fantastic connection that they do not always agree on every little thing all the time but can have balanced negotiations on different factors. They can disagree but sooner or later they come collectively and are one particular voice. I assume it is critical for the captain to truly feel that he has the energy to make selected selections. But it is equally critical to have a clear demarcation of responsibilities so that he understands what places he is accountable for and the coach understands his region so that they can come collectively to make other selections. If they go into that connection with fantastic intent, compassion and mutual respect, you have a fantastic likelihood of it operating.
With a good deal of new T20 leagues coming up across the planet, do you assume cricket can adopt a football-like procedure wherein franchise-primarily based leagues overpower the global fixtures?
Cricket is inching that way. I was going to say ‘inching that way slowly’ but undoubtedly, the Caribbean is the greatest illustration of it. There are some of the greatest gamers in the planet that have stepped away from global cricket and favored the life-style and earnings from franchise-primarily based cricket. There is a danger, there is no doubt about that. But I personally feel with wisdom and the correct intent, the ICC will be ready to stability the global fixture record with the windows for substantial-high quality tournaments like the CPL and the IPL.