Flower: 2013-14 Ashes was hard but fascinating


Andy Flower has said he found the 2013-14 Ashes "fascinating", despite England's humiliating 5-0 defeat at the hands of Australia.

Having enjoyed great success during his time as team director, Flower's reign came to a miserable end as his side were whitewashed by their great rivals.

In the aftermath of a woeful tour for England, the Zimbabwean left his role and Kevin Pietersen was controversially axed - the latter decision sparking much debate and acrimony.

Looking back on the series in a rare interview, Flower attempted to take positives from the challenging situation he and his players found themselves in.

He told the Daily Mail: "There were hard times during that tour of Australia and some testing times for me and a few others afterwards. So I don't have good memories of it but having said that it was still fascinating to be part of.

"It was interesting to try to find a way of halting the slide even though we weren't able to do it. It was fascinating to watch how people were dealing with what we went through and how I dealt with it myself, coming out the other side and evaluating why things happened. Hopefully I'm stronger and wiser for it.

"If we'd won that Ashes I would have wanted to carry on, no question. There was talk of me going even if we'd won but I would have wanted to stay because I was really enjoying the job and it's one of the best you can have. Why wouldn't you carry on when you're winning?"

Flower, who has subsequently taken up a new role with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) centred on the development of younger players, was replaced by Peter Moores, only for the latter's second stint in charge of the national team to prove brief.

However, England have since made encouraging progress under the guidance of Trevor Bayliss - regaining the Ashes, winning a Test series in South Africa and reaching the final of this year's World Twenty20.

"It's a really exciting England team and they've selected exciting players," said Flower. "[There are] players with plenty of power and it's a young, developing group too.

"One thing I like is that they obviously like playing with each other. It's nice to watch players having fun together and in a fun environment you learn quickly.

"You don't quite have the emotional involvement and commitment as when you're coach but I've loved what I've seen over the last year. We were huge underdogs in that Ashes last year and for the England side to come through as they did was magnificent. Then to go to South Africa and win was a great achievement. We went there a few years ago and drew 1-1 so we know how tough it is.

"And they played such attacking cricket at the World Twenty20 and got in a position to win it. It all augurs very well for the future."