Former Zimbabwe wicketkeeper-batsman Andy Flower has been appointed the first-ever head coach of the new IPL franchise based in Lucknow. He was reportedly approached by the franchise last month and now there has been confirmation from the Lucknow owners that he has agreed on the terms and will take charge of the planning and strategy of the franchise ahead of the draft pick and the mega auction.
Andy Flower boasts of a great CV as a player and as a coach. While he is one of the very few wicketkeeper batsmen in the history of the game who maintained an average of over 50 in test match cricket, he later guided the England cricket team to Ashes triumphs home and away and to a T20 World Cup title as well in 2010. Even in T20 franchise cricket, Flower has won a PSL title with Multan Sultans and guided St Lucia Kings to the final of the last CPL.
The flower was involved in the IPL as well in the last couple of years, but he was never on the forefront as he was the assistant of Anil Kumble who was performing the dual duties of the director of cricket as well as the head coach at Punjab Kings. However, now with the full authority of a head coach, it will be interesting to see what kind of a difference Andy Flower makes at the IPL level.
Andy Flower will have to build the Lucknow squad from the scratch
Coaching in IPL is still very different from coaching in the other franchise leagues because it all starts from team building in the auction and IPL is the only league that uses the auction system to sign the players. All the other leagues have the draft system.
For a new coach to take charge of the strategies at the auction, build a team from the scratch and then get the best out of the players in the most high-pressure league in the world, Andy Flower has a massive job in hand. The Zimbabwe southpaw is expected to visit Lucknow at some point of time in January next year.