The reports of Andy Flower being approached to become the head coach of the new Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise, which is based in Lucknow have turned out to be true as the owner of the franchise- Sanjiv Goenka confirmed that the former Zimbabwe captain will helm the coaching position starting from the IPL 2022.
The IPL 2022 will see two new teams joining the original eight teams. Sanjiv Goenka owned RPSG group successfully bid for the franchise which will be based out of Lucknow at INR 7090 crores, while Irelia Company Pte Ltd. (CVC Capital Partners) bid for Ahmedabad based franchise for INR 5625 Crores.
Cricbuzz was the first to report that Andy Flower might become the head coach of the Lucknow-based franchise, which will have the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Stadium in Ekana as their home ground.
Sanjiv Goenka, the owner of the Lucknow IPL team, said, “As a player and a coach Andy has left an indelible mark in the history of cricket. We respect his professionalism and hope he will work with our vision and add value to our team.”
The announcement was made after permission from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) which had, hitherto, restricted the new team from making any declarations yet. Some restrictions, still, exist.
I Am Incredibly Excited To Be Joining The New Lucknow Franchise And I Am Very Grateful For The Opportunity: Andy Flower
Regarded as perhaps the greatest Zimbabwe batter of all-time Andy Flower has had stints as head of the England team and was most recently the coach of Punjab Kings (PBKS) as well for IPL 2021. Flower played 63 Tests making 4794 runs and 213 ODIs making 6786 runs for Zimbabwe from 1992-2003.
“I am incredibly excited to be joining the new Lucknow franchise and I am very grateful for the opportunity. Since my very first tour to India in 1993, I have always loved touring, playing, and coaching in India.
The passion for cricket in India is unrivaled and it is a real privilege to lead an IPL franchise and I am looking forward to working closely with Dr. Goenka and the Lucknow team. I will relish the challenge to build something meaningful and successful with the Lucknow franchise, I am looking forward to meeting the management and staff when I visit Uttar Pradesh in the New Year,” Flower said.
Thanks to the ambiguity surrounding the owners of the Ahmedabad-based team- CVC Sports, BCCI has advised the new team not to make any signing or announcement on their player recruitments until a formal go-ahead is given to them.
Both Lucknow and Ahmedabad were originally given time until December 25 to sign a maximum of three players. Now that there is a freeze on signing, this deadline is almost certain to be extended once there’s clarity over the second new team.