Australia hope to become the first team since England in 2010-11 to win an away Ashes series this summer, and have ramped up their attempts to do so by adding Andy Flower – the mastermind of that success – to their backroom staff.
Flower, a three-time Ashes-winning coach with England, has joined the Australia squad on a consultancy basis ahead of this week’s World Test Championship final at The Oval.
Pat Cummins, Australia’s captain, said that Australia were “lucky to have someone as experienced as Andy” in their camp heading into a busy two-month period in the UK, which will see them play six Tests in eight weeks.
“[He brings] experience over here, first of all,” Cummins said, “and knows these conditions really well. Hopefully he knows the opposition, so if he can give us one little bit of insight into playing in England that we haven’t thought about then it’s worth it.
“I think Andrew [McDonald] has worked with him quite a bit, and you’ve seen us over the years bring in different people at different times. We’re pretty lucky to have someone as experienced as Andy.”
However, Flower is not expected to be involved in the build-up to the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston on June 16, but ESPNcricinfo understands that he will return to the set-up during the latter stages of the Ashes – most likely before the third Test at Headingley starts from July 6.
Flower had coached England from 2009-14, a stint which included four Ashes series. He emerged victorious in his first three of those – in 2009, 2010-11 and 2013 – before stepping down after his side was whitewashed in Australia in 2013-14.
He spent the following five years working in the ECB’s pathways, overseeing the England Lions set-up, and has since launched a successful career as a successful head coach in various franchise leagues around the world.
That has included the Hundred, where Flower coached Trent Rockets to the title last summer. Intriguingly, since teams in the Hundred are run centrally rather than by private investors, Flower’s Rockets contract means he is still on the ECB’s payroll.