England raring to go - Flower

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Team director Andy Flower insists England are excited rather than weary as they head into the ICC Champions Trophy tomorrow.

Andrew Strauss & Andy Flower

Andy Flower says both he and Andrew Strauss are having no trouble motivating their players for the Champions Trophy

Despite arriving on the back of a gruelling summer schedule, which concluded with a 6-1 NatWest Series defeat to Australia, and having just two days’ practice to acclimatise to the high altitude, England head into their opening Group B fixture against Sri Lanka tomorrow thankful for a change of scene.

“We have had a long, hard summer back home, so getting out here and playing in this tournament, with the best players in the world is very exciting for everyone,” said Flower. “We are looking forward to that challenge.

“There is no trouble at all getting the players up for this tournament. Being here and feeling the buzz about it, and looking forward to a couple of wins to get us through to the semi-finals is exciting for everyone.”

While Australia’s pacemen, led by a rejuvenated Brett Lee, dominated England’s batsmen earlier this month, the threat now reverts to spin with Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis, whose remarkable rise continued with a starring display in the tournament opening win over South Africa.

“It proved a tough series against Australia but the Sri Lankans will put forward a completely different challenge,” said Flower.

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