Giles favourite to succeed Flower

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iol spt feb1 Flower Getty Images Former England coach Andy Flower. Photo by: Gareth Copley

London - Limited-overs supremo Ashley Giles is a strong candidate to succeed Andy Flower as England's coach in all formats, cricket board chief Giles Clarke said on Saturday.

Zimbabwean Flower, who had been in charge since 2009, stepped down on Friday following England's 5-0 Ashes surrender in Australia and will take up a new role with the national academy.

With no test scheduled until the home series against Sri Lanka in June, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is in no hurry to announce a coach for all formats but former left-arm spinner Giles appears to be one of the favourites for the job.

“We would agree he is a strong candidate,” Clarke told reporters. “He's a valued employee of the ECB, a man of great integrity and ability.”

Former captain Michael Vaughan believes South African Gary Kirsten could be the right man to succeed Flower while Nottinghamshire director of cricket Mick Newell has thrown his hat in the ring.

ECB managing director Paul Downton will oversee the recruitment process, Clarke said.

“We don't play any Test cricket until June so we have quite a break during which time we are focusing on the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh (next month),” he added.

“Ashley is in charge of all that anyway, is in charge of the side in the West Indies and will take charge of the side continuously so that process is pretty clear.”

The ECB boss paid tribute to Flower who guided England to three Ashes successes, 2010 World Twenty20 victory and briefly to number one in the ICC Test rankings.

“These triumphs identify him as the most successful coach in English cricket history,” Clarke said.

“On behalf of all of us in cricket in England and Wales, and certainly on behalf of the ECB, I would like to thank him for his tireless efforts across the country and I look forward to working with him in his new role at the ECB.” – Reuters

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