Flower wants schedule input
Andy Flower believes his coaching staff should be more heavily involved in the consulting process for the scheduling of tours.
Last Updated: 04/02/11 9:02am
England team director Andy Flower believes his coaching staff should be more heavily involved in the consulting process for the scheduling of tours after seeing his side left depleted at the end of their tour of Australia.
England are down to the bare bones ahead of Sunday's final match of the three-and-a-half month tour in Perth.
Paul Collingwood became the fifth player to fly back to England on Thursday night, ruled out of the seventh game of a protracted one-day international series, due to a back spasm.
Ajmal Shahzad (hamstring) and Chris Tremlett (side) had already flown home earlier on Thursday to join Graeme Swann (knee/back) and Tim Bresnan (calf), who returned to England last week, as early casualties of the tour.
As well as leaving Flower significantly understaffed, it has also severely undermined the party's preparations for the forthcoming World Cup in India.
Flower is in no doubt the long trip has contributed to the current injury crisis and admitted he would like more say in the team's schedule.
"Without a doubt the length of the tour is a reason for the injuries," he stated.
"We've been here over three months now and with the intensity at which the guys play their cricket, and with the intensity that we demand in training it is no surprise that people will pick up injuries and break down at the end of a long, hard tour."
Asked what input the coaching team have in the itinerary, he added: "Very little say. Ideally the coach's thoughts should be sought, but in most instances these fixture lists and itineraries are in place way before any information is sought from the coach.
"It would be quite sensible to look at how these tours are set up, especially this close to a World Cup, however, these are the schedules that we are given and we will deal with them as well as we can."
The packed schedule has left England with just a three-day turnaround before they fly to the sub-continent on February 12, but Flower insisted: "It is our job to be at our peak as close to the start of the World Cup as possible.
"That's what we'll be aiming for."
The former Zimbabwe skipper pointed to England's batting performance in Wednesday's game in Sydney, when they posted their record score of 333-6, as an indication that the team was still able to perform at their best, although they ended up losing that game.
"I thought our guys fought incredibly hard in that last game in the heat in Sydney," he added.
"It was a great game of cricket. There were some sore bodies out there; people limping on and off the field, but they gave everything they had in defending that 333.
"Unfortunately we didn't win that game but we will be doing the same here in Perth - going to win it."