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Page last updated at 09:39 GMT, Friday, 4 February 2011

Coach Andy Flower bemoans England schedule

Seventh one-day international: Australia v England
Venue: Perth Date: Sunday, 6 February Start time: 0320 GMT
Coverage: Live Test Match Special commentary on BBC 5 live sports extra, Radio 4 LW and the BBC Sport website (UK users only); live text commentary on BBC Sport website & mobiles; also live on Sky Sports 1

Andy Flower
Flower took over from Peter Moores as full-time England coach in 2009

England coach Andy Flower has bemoaned the length of his side's Australia tour and wants to have more input into the team's schedule in the future.

England have been decimated by injuries at the end of a three-and-a-half month tour of Australia, culminating in the seventh one-dayer in Perth on Sunday.

"Without a doubt the length of the tour is a reason for the injuries," he said.

"It would be quite sensible to look at how these tours are set up. Ideally the coach's thoughts should be sought."

On Thursday, Paul Collingwood became the fifth England player to fly home after suffering a back spasm during the sixth one-day international in Sydney on Wednesday.

Ajmal Shahzad (hamstring), Chris Tremlett (side), Graeme Swann (knee/back) and Tim Bresnan (calf) were earlier casualties of the tour.

That leaves Flower with a depleted squad to choose from ahead of Sunday's match, which carries little significance with Australia already leading the series 5-1.

"We've been here over three months now and with the intensity at which the guys play their cricket, and with the intensity that we demand in training it is no surprise that people will pick up injuries and break down at the end of a long, hard tour," added Flower.


The length of the one-day series has left England with just a three-day turnaround before they fly to the sub-continent on 12 February for the World Cup.

Asked how much input the coaching team have in the itinerary, Flower stated: "Very little say. Ideally the coach's thoughts should be sought, but in most instances these fixture lists and itineraries are in place way before any information is sought from the coach.

"It would be quite sensible to look at how these tours are set up, especially this close to a World Cup, however, these are the schedules that we are given and we will deal with them as well as we can.

"It is our job to be at our peak as close to the start of the World Cup as possible. That's what we'll be aiming for."

Flower is taking heart from England's batting display in Sydney, when they posted 333-6 - their record score against Australia.

And although Australia stunned the tourists by chasing down the runs, Flower was happy with the resolve of his injury-ravaged side.

"I thought our guys fought incredibly hard in that last game in the heat in Sydney," he added.

"It was a great game of cricket. There were some sore bodies out there; people limping on and off the field, but they gave everything they had in defending that 333.

"Unfortunately we didn't win that game but we will be doing the same here in Perth - going to win it."

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see also
England tour ends in heavy defeat
06 Feb 11 |  England
Strauss upbeat ahead of World Cup
02 Feb 11 |  England
Aussie run chase shocks England
02 Feb 11 |  England
England call up Plunkett as cover
31 Jan 11 |  England
Shahzad and Tremlett to fly home
02 Feb 11 |  England
Strauss angry after England slump
30 Jan 11 |  England
England collapse to series defeat
30 Jan 11 |  England
Pietersen buoyed despite injuries
29 Jan 11 |  England
England in Australia 2010-11
08 Oct 09 |  Cricket
Cricket World Cup 2011
09 Mar 11 |  Cricket

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Coventry Telegraph Flower wants input on schedule - 44 hrs ago
Telegraph Flower wants greater say in England schedule - 44 hrs ago
Manchester Wired Coach Andy Flower bemoans England schedule - 45 hrs ago
Mail Online UK Andy Flower demands a say in future tour schedules after injuries wipe out England squad - 46 hrs ago