Abu Dhabi T10 League: It's all about the 'Flower Power'

Dubai - Former England coach Andy prepares for a new challenge with Delhi Bulls

New Delhi Bulls coach Andy Flower at the Khaleej Times office in Dubai on Tuesday. — Shihab
New Delhi Bulls coach Andy Flower at the Khaleej Times office in Dubai on Tuesday. — Shihab

By James Jose

Published: Tue 22 Dec 2020, 9:01 PM

Last updated: Tue 22 Dec 2020, 9:24 PM

For someone who came rather late to the party, former England coach and technical director Andy Flower has hardly put a foot wrong, so to speak. The former Zimbabwe captain and wicketkeeper dipped his feet in the world of franchise cricket only last year but he struck paydirt immediately.

It was akin to a duck taking to water as the 52-year-old unfurled his ‘Flower Power’ by guiding the Maratha Arabians to the title in the Abu Dhabi T10 League title last season.

Also listen: One-on-one interview with Andy Flower

Having worked his magic there, Flower is preparing for a new season with a new team, after being signed up by the Delhi Bulls.

Flower has had a hectic season, having coached the Multan Sultans in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), the St Lucia Zouks in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and assistant duties with Kings XI Punjab in the IPL.

And while he admits it has been tough living out of one bio-bubble to another over the past four months or so, the thought of a new challenge excites him.

Flower, who plotted England’s 2010 T20 World Cup triumph as well as their rise to No.1 in the Test rankings, also spoke very highly of the UAE credentials if given the opportunity to host a 50-over or T20 World Cup in the future.

“I’m really excited. It is great to be involved in T10 again for my second year,” Flower told the Khaleej Times on Tuesday.

“Obviously, the first year went really well and it was an exciting tournament, great format. And now, forming an association with the new owners and Delhi Bulls itself. It is really exciting,” he added.

Flower couldn’t stop gushing about the new format, which he only got to associate with last year and said it had strong potential to make it to the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics.

“This format, the T10, is a brilliant format. The length of time that it takes is more like the length of time a football match or a rugby match or a hockey match, audiences are more used to that length of time. And I think it will be really useful, I think, for events such as the Commonwealth Games or the Olympic Games. To schedule multi games through a day at one venue, I think it is a format of the game that is going to grow very quickly and very successfully,” felt Flower.

And asked whether the UAE could play host to major ICC events, he replied in the affirmative.

“I can’t see why not? The UAE has got banks of evidence of successfully hosting big series and tournaments. I don’t see a problem there at all. The UAE has got some really great venues, and obviously the logistics of hosting other events.”

And ahead of the Abu Dhabi T10 draft which takes place on Wednesday, Flower felt that the mandatory inclusion of UAE players in the squad and in the playing XI bodes well for the growth of the game in the country.

“I’ve sort of kept half an eye on their (UAE) results in the associate leagues and it seems like that they are doing some really good things. Last year, we had a young left-arm bowler called Shiraz, who played a big part in us winning the tournament. He was a young UAE prospect and now I think a little bit more established. And without giving things away for the draft that’s coming tomorrow, we are looking at a couple of young UAE players,” he revealed.

“I think the necessity of having two UAE players in your squad and one in the XI is a very good and healthy thing for UAE cricket. We are looking at playing our small part in developing some of your young talent. So, I think the associate nation leagues and the way the ICC has put more emphasis on them, emphasis and investment into that competition is a really good thing for world cricket. And the UAE is part of that and playing a very competitive part in that,” Flower added.


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