Flower ‘lays down law’ to maintain ‘detached’ coach-player relationship

London: England coach Andy Flower has warned his players to respect his decisions, keeping enough of distance between himself and the squad to be able to make the tough calls, and makes no apology for it.

The England team director laid down the law to fast bowler Anderson by leaving him out for this week’s Third Test against West Indies at Edgbaston.

“I think it’s inevitable there will be a degree of detachment between me and the players. I’m a selector and because of that, we’re making decisions that affect careers, and therefore, lives,” the Daily Mirror quoted Flower, as saying.

It was followed with an enforced Twenty20 international retirement for Kevin Pietersen, who was told that he must honour his England Cricket Board (ECB) contract and play both short formats of the game or none at all.

“You don’t need an atmosphere of fear for it to work properly. Ideally, there needs to be mutual respect among all of us, and certainly between player and coach. They might disagree, but they have to respect the decisions we make,” Flower explained.

Anderson’s removal is the only change to the squad that assembled for the last two Tests, clearing the way for Steven Finn or perhaps Graham Onions to take his place.

Though Anderson’s main gripe is he believes he is fit and so should be allowed to continue, the ECB insisted, saying he must rest to get over “several minor injuries”.

“I think to make those decisions I obviously want to be as informed as possible, but I also think it is inevitable there will be a slight gap there,” Flower added.