England cricket team coach Andy Flower missed the second day’s play of the first Ashes Test at the Gabba as he was in hospital being operated by an Indian-origin doctor for the removal of a melanoma, a type of skin cancer, from close to his right eye.
Dr. Shobhan Manoharan, said that Flower owed his life to the team’s security officer Reg Dickason, who took him to her skin clinic in Brisbane this week.
Flower is due to miss the third day’s play of the Test to recuperate. He will return to the team for day four. Richard Halsall, the fielding coach, is in temporary charge of the squad.
Dr. Manoharan said the cancerous growth just beneath Flower’s right eye had been developing at some speed, and would have caused potentially fatal complications within months.
“Melanomas are, pound for pound, the most serious cancers out there,” Dr Manoharan told Telegraph Sport.
“The dangerous — or level two – part of this one was only 0.3 millimetres thick, which is not life-threatening in itself. But the history of the case suggests that it has been evolving quickly, and was on its way to becoming a much more serious problem,” she added.
Flower visited the clinic only after prompting from Dickason, a Brisbane native who had previously arranged a check-up on his own sun-damaged skin.
As the England team’s bodyguard and chief security adviser, Dickason is responsible for Flower’s safety on tour.
Dr. Manoharan works at the Westside Dermatology Group in Brisbane, a practice that promises to arrange check-ups within 48 hours. Dickason had his appointment on Monday, and Flower was then given a biopsy on Wednesday before undergoing surgery yesterday.
Dr. Manoharan has recommended that the rest of the England squad should come in for check-ups and warned that other players and coaches could be at risk.