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Flower given new coaching role to help young talent bloom

Andy Flower will help mould England's long-term succession policy for players of the future, in his new role as technical director of elite coaching.

Flower's hugely successful tenure as team director ended on a major low point in the winter's Ashes whitewash, after which he resigned.

But the England and Wales Cricket Board, and Flower himself, made it clear when he left the post after five years that the intention was to return in a different position.

It has taken a little more than a month to identify and agree a role to the satisfaction of both parties, in which Flower will be based at the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough where he will oversee the development of prospective internationals.

It is hoped the 45-year-old can enhance a programme which has already helped to deliver current England players such as Joe Root, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes, among many others.

Flower was a triple Ashes-winner before his final tour, which resulted in the need for a 'new era' following not only his resignation but also the controversial axing of record runscorer Kevin Pietersen.

"I see this as a great opportunity for me as I start a new phase of my career," he said. "This role offers me a chance to make a real contribution to the ability and character of England players and coaches in the years to come."

ECB managing director Paul Downton added: "The ECB is delighted [to be] able to retain a man of Andy Flower's experience and quality. His record speaks for itself, and the ECB and Andy are excited about the future."

As the present England team seek to put a miserable winter behind them, their series-levelling one-day international win over West Indies on Sunday featured a debut man-of-the-match performance from a player who came from that development programme.

Stephen Parry, at 28, is a relative late starter in England colours, but the Lancashire slow left-armer wasted no time making an impact, taking three for 32 as England bowled West Indies out for 159.

"It's an amazing start," he said. "I was just interested in us winning the game, but to influence it and put in a good performance and get man-of-the-match tops it off. I was in a bit of shock. It's a great moment for me, and I hope there will be more like that over the coming weeks.

Parry managed to keep himself calm on Sunday, and ensure he made the most of helpful conditions.

"It's a massive stage - everyone's watching," he said. "I just kept saying to myself 'do what you do'. I knew if I bowled my best ball on that surface it would be hard to hit."

Parry is also in England's squad to travel to Bangladesh for the ICC World Twenty20, via Barbados for three short-format matches against the West Indies, and may be joined by Ian Bell, who has flown out to the Caribbean to stake a late claim.

"My heart was saying 'come on, let's get picked', but my head was telling me it wasn't realistic," Parry said, when the squad was released.

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