Flower resigned as assistant coach of the Punjab Kings a few weeks ago in the first indication that a bigger IPL role was around the corner.
“Andy Flower has been around for a long time. He has a solid reputation as a T20 coach, having been around the world coaching various franchises. He brings with him some rich IPL experience as well and knowledge of these conditions. He seemed to be the right choice for Lucknow,” sources in the know told TOI.
Earlier this year, Flower declined an offer to coach the Pakistan cricket team because he wished to continue focusing on franchise cricket. Apart from being associated with the Punjab Kings, he has coached the Multan Sultans and St. Lucia Zouks. He was a coaching consultant with Afghanistan in the recent T20 World Cup.
Flower’s coaching credentials soared after a roaring stint with England between 2009 to 2014, marked by twin Ashes victories, the Test team’s rise to No. 1 in the rankings and the 2010 World T20 title win. He brings with him a reputation as a top-class tactician who stresses on meticulous reparation, besides being a hard taskmaster with high professional standards.
The Lucknow franchise was bagged by the Sanjiv Goenka-led RPSG group for a princely Rs 7090 crore. Goenka had, at that time, told TOI “we specifically wanted Lucknow as the city of choice” and that they had “unfinished business” in the IPL.
The RPSG Group, the $7bn conglomerate with interests in several sectors including power, infotech, retail and FMCG, had earlier owned the Rising Pune Supergiant outfit for 2 years.
Pune Supergiant had, incidentally, lost the 2017 IPL final to Mumbai Indians by a solitary run. Will the franchise, which is likely to target KL Rahul in the auction as first-choice captain, be second-time lucky with Flower?