Andy Flower leaves post as England coach after humiliating Ashes whitewash
Andy Flower has left his role as England coach following the disastrous tour of Australia, the ECB have confirmed.
Last Updated: 01/02/14 10:28am
The ECB released a statement announcing that the former Zimbabwe international had asked to stand down following a meeting with the new managing director of England cricket, Paul Downton.
Flower, who took over from Peter Moores as England team director in 2009, will remain on the selection committee "for the time being" and he is now expected to be given a new role with the national academy at Loughborough.
He steered the Test team through a highly successful period, winning three Ashes series as England moved to the top of the world Test rankings, and Flower also led them to the World T20 title before relinquishing control of the limited-overs teams to Ashley Giles in November 2012.
But after an ardous winter in Australia, where rumours surfaced of a dressing-room bust-up with Kevin Pietersen, Flower has taken the decision to step aside as England look to rebuild.
"Following the recent very disappointing Ashes defeat it is clear to me that this is now time for England cricket, led by Alastair Cook, to rebuild with a new set of values and goals," Flower said.
"The opportunity to start with a clean slate and begin to instil methods to ensure England cricket is moving in the right direction will be an incredibly exciting challenge for someone but I do not feel like I am in a position to undertake that challenge.
"In order for England cricket to make significant progress I believe that the team director, together with the respective captains, needs to be responsible across all formats in order to positively influence the rebuilding process.
"This will ensure complete clarity and continuity across the squads and having stepped aside from the limited overs squads 14 months ago that is not something I am able to do and I do not therefore feel that starting the process would be in the best interests of all involved at what is a pivotal time for England cricket.
"This has been a very difficult decision to make and I remain committed to England cricket and would like to wish Alastair Cook and Paul Downton every success.
"I will remain in my position as a selector for the time being and am currently exploring possible roles within the ECB. The priority must now be to establish the direction and personnel needed to ensure England cricket moves forward."
Downton revealed that the ECB are in "advance stages" in talks with Flower over a new role as he paid tribute to the departing coach.
He said: "Andy has been the most successful coach in England's history and we at the ECB are very disappointed to see him leave the role as team director.
"We respect his decision and the reasons for it but we are keen to keep Andy's experience and outstanding knowledge within the ECB.
"We are at advance stages of negotiating a role for Andy within the ECB structure which will best utilise his undoubted skills."
Flower was forced to deny reports that he issued an ultimatum to the ECB over the future involvement of Pietersen with the England team following the Ashes debacle.
Pietersen and Flower fell out during the series defeat to South Africa in 2012, when the England batsman was dropped because of text messages he sent to the tourists during the series.
Pietersen was subsequently reintegrated into the team under Cook's captaincy and played a critical role in England's brilliant series win in India in 2012, hitting 186 in a 206-run stand with Cook during the 10-wicket win in the second Test in Mumbai.