SENIOR PLAYERS WILL PLAY

IPL organisers have said that the senior cricketers will be playing even after the IPL. Refuting media reports that cricketers are looking for rest after the IPL, the cricket board said on Monday that all senior players are available for the tour of the West Indies and England. The BCCI’s chief administrative officer, Ratnakar Shetty, said the board had no knowledge of players opting out of the series citing heavy schedule.

“We have no information of any player opting out. Everything will be clear at the selection committee meeting on May 10,” said Shetty. The Windies tour starts six days after the May 28 conclusion of the IPL. The series, sponsored by Gunn and Moore, comprises a T20 game, three Tests and five ODIs, and will last 51 days.

Flower Continues for England

England have been handed a boost ahead of their Test series’ against Sri Lanka and India this summer after the ECB announced that Andy Flower has renewed his contract and will remain in his role as team director.

“The ECB today announced that Andy Flower has renewed his contract and will continue in his current role as England team director,” read an ECB statement on Tuesday morning.

“Flower will remain on a permanent contract and is currently preparing for an international summer that sees England face Sri Lanka, India and Ireland.”

Despite being linked with a possible move to coach current ODI World Champions and Test cricket’s No 1 side India – a role now filled by former England coach Duncan Fletcher – Flower insisted that he was happy to carry on with England.

He said: “I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to build on the considerable progress we have made to date as a squad and remain fully committed to developing the side, and giving the barmy army something to wave their union jack flags proudly about!

“When I was appointed England team director in 2009 I stated that I wanted to create a winning England team and I am very pleased with the advances we have made as a squad over the last two years in all formats of the game.

“Regaining the Ashes in 2009 and retaining them last winter and the 2010 World Twenty20 title are obvious highlights, but there is still plenty more we want to achieve in the longer term.