Captaincy trio stirs Flower and Strauss
Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss share a mutual excitement at the beginning of England’s new dawn with three captains.
The ECB today announced that Alastair Cook has taken over the one-day captaincy from Strauss, who has retired from the format, and Stuart Broad has succeeded Paul Collingwood as Twenty20 skipper.
A split captaincy is nothing new to England with Nasser Hussain and Michael Vaughan dividing Test and ODI responsibilities before Paul Collingwood took on the limited-overs role but never led the Test side.
However, to Flower's knowledge, this is the first time a country has appointed captains for each format and the team director has high hopes for the concept.
“It’s never been tried before so we’re actually quite excited about the opportunity,” he said at this morning’s Lord’s press conference.
“I don’t think any side has had three separate captains before so we’re covering new ground, and for us that’s exciting.
"We don’t know 100% whether it will work or be the most effective and efficient system, but we’re going to give it a try.
“I think with the quality people we’ve got around us we form a good leadership team.”
Strauss, who reiterated his commitment to the Test helm, also sees the potential for success given the volume of international cricket played today that places strain on single and even dual captains.
“I’ve still got a huge amount of drive and determination to take the Test team forward and I think that’s an important starting point,” he said.
“I also think there’s no reason why I can’t work alongside Alastair and Stuart in mapping out the future of our team in all forms of the game.
“The thing that I’m most excited about this structure is that it gives each captain a great opportunity to come in and give real energy, verve and direction to their particular format of the game.
“And given the continuous nature of international cricket it’s potentially the best way of getting the best out of the cricketers we’ve got at our disposal in all forms of the game.
“I think the structure has got potential to work extremely well. As Andy Flower said, we don’t know exactly how things are going to work out in the future, but I think this gives us a great chance of progressing and supporting.”
Flower believes that Cook and Broad can benefit from Strauss’ experience, including 127 ODIs, of which 62 have been as skipper.
“These two young captains will learn a lot from him,” Flower added.
“I think they’re lucky to have him there as a sounding board involved in overall direction and leadership of the England cricket unit.”
Flower, who was named permanent successor to Peter Moores in April 2009, signed a new contract on Tuesday and is enthused about working with Strauss, Cook and Broad.
“I’m really looking forward to this next cycle and I think that’s a good description for it,” he continued.
“I’ve been lucky enough to be in this position for the last two years, and I think we have come to the end of a cycle of some description and we are well on our way forward to planning for the future.
“But I feel strong and fresh and I’m really excited about this new leadership team.”
Flower also spared a thought for Collingwood, for whom last year’s World Twenty20 triumph was the highlight of his 30 T20 internationals in charge.
“He’s very disappointed, as you would expect,” Flower said “He’s been a very successful Twenty20 captain and he has been an outstanding member of the England side for a long time.
“He continues on as a player, but we believe that it is time to move on.
"This next generation of young England leaders, behind Andrew Strauss, we feel their development and what they can give to English cricket in the medium to long term is an important aspect of this decision.”