Has Flower's blossoming career begun to wilt?

HARARE - When England embarked on the return leg of the Ashes last November, very few people would have anticipated such a one-sided affair.

And yet, that is exactly what it was.

England were out batted, out bowled, and generally out thought in all facets of the game.

The fact that England also had problems off the field was clear to see as first of all their solid and reliable number three batsman Jonathan Trott went home after the conclusion of the first Test in Brisbane, as well as Graeme Swann, who stunned everybody when he promptly announced his retirement from the game with immediate effect.

If that wasn't enough, it then emerged that coach Andrew Flower and Kevin Pietersen weren't seeing eye to eye, although Flower seemed to play down the so called rumours.

But, this is not the first time this "rumour" has surfaced, and the English press have had an absolute field day, sparking debates about who should go, and who should stay.

So, if a decision were to be made as to who should go, the sad but true reality is that Flower would more than likely be looking for employment, while KP would be basking in the fact that he would have enhanced his status of been placed on a pedestal, and treated like a tin god.

For the sake of the game, it would be good to see these two strong minded characters thrash out their differences and disagreements, but life in general is never as easy as we would like it to be, and at the end of the day, the game has to progress, which means that the ECB would have to ask themselves the question.

Is it a very hot headed, arrogant, selfish, yet extremely talented and dynamic player who will help English cricket progress? Or a very successful but strong minded coach?

Although the ECB have made it abundantly clear that Flower has become a vital part of England's success over the last five and a half years, despite the disastrous tour down under, the general feeling is that KP will more than likely stay, while the once blossoming Flower will have to find employment elsewhere.

Should this be the case, it would be a very sad way for the former Zimbabwean captain to move on, after playing an instrumental role in helping England regain the Ashes in 2009, and then retain them a year later in Australia.

Flower then upped the ante with series wins both home and away against India, and then enhanced his status as the world’s best coach as England trounced Australia 3-0 in the English Summer of last year.

So would it be fair to give Flower his marching orders after one nightmare tour?

Is it fair to allow one single player to possibly determine the immediate future of a team?

Some English fans have said that they go to the grounds to watch the players, and not the coaches, while others have said that a good coach has a way of making players believe in themselves and the team, and should stay in charge for as long as possible.

Every coach has a shelf life, just as every player has a lifespan in the game, so now it is left to see who will be regarded as the most important member, as sadly there seems to be an unavoidable clash in the not too distant future.

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