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Flower’s future in doubt

Perth: Andy Flower’s long-term future as England’s technical director could be decided at meetings in Sydney in the new year with Paul Downton, the new managing director of English cricket.

Downton, who takes over officially from Hugh Morris on Jan. 1, is due to sit down with the England management in Sydney, the venue for the fifth Test which starts on Jan. 3, to begin mapping out the future for the senior team.

Flower was non-committal about his future when asked on Tuesday in the aftermath of England surrendering the Ashes in Perth.

“We’ve got two Test matches left in the series and I am absolutely hungry to do well in those games. That is as far as I’m looking at the moment,” he said.

Alastair Cook admitted losing the Ashes in his 100th Test was the lowest moment of his career but wants to continue as England captain and urged Flower to remain in his job and help with the rebuilding process.

“Yeah, I do want him to carry on. He’s an outstanding coach. Let’s make no mistake about it,” said Cook. “He’s an outstanding person, and a great person to have around, especially for me as a captain especially the advice he gives me. Whether he will carry on and wants to carry on, you’ll have to ask him. It’s not down to him that we’ve lost, it’s that we haven’t had enough players in form.”

When England last lost a Test series in Australia in 2006-07 it hastened the end of Duncan Fletcher’s long tenure as coach, he stood down a few months later after the World Cup in the West Indies, and Andrew Flintoff never captained the side again.

This tour is heading towards a similar crisis point unless Flower and Cook can turn around a dire situation and the captain believes they are the best two men for the job.

“I think so. But if other people don’t who make the decisions, then we have to go by that decision,” he said. “When you lose the Ashes and when you lose like we’ve lost, there’s always going to be people questioning my place and all that kind of stuff.”