Andy Flower has been confirmed as the head coach for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, succeeding director of cricket operations, Mike Hesson, whose tenure with the franchise has ended. The contracts of remaining members of the RCB support staff, including head coach Sanjay Bangar, have also not been extended. The confirmation comes hours after Cricbuzz reported about the changes on Thursday night.
Making the announcement on Friday, the franchise said, “Andy has coached the International and franchise cricket teams for over a decade and in that time has won PSL, The Hundred, ILT20, T10. He went onto be a hugely successful coach for England, winning home and away Ashes campaigns as well as the T20 World Cup in 2010 taking England test team to No1 in the world. He is also the first player from Zimbabwe to be inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame.”
The franchise also confirmed parting ways with Hesson & Co. “RCB also confirmed the decision of not renewing the contract of Director of Cricket Operations Mike Hesson and Head Coach Sanjay Bangar as part of the internal review that the team has concluded post the end of the previous season. The franchise places its gratitude to both of these dignitaries for all their efforts during their time with RCB for the last four seasons.”
In a report dated July 18, Cricbuzz had revealed that Flower was engaged in discussions with several franchises, including the Rajasthan Royals. However, it has since become evident that the Bengaluru-based team has secured his services for the upcoming years. There exists a potential for AB de Villiers, who greatly contributed to the franchise’s success, to collaborate with Flower as a mentor, although no official confirmation has been made yet. There is no announcement on de Villiers on Friday.
Flower’s association with the Lucknow Super Giants concluded earlier this year following the culmination of his two-year contract after IPL 2023. The Sanjiv Goenka-owned team has already enlisted Justin Langer.
RCB, under the ownership of the UK-based Diageo company, is renowned for making well-informed decisions backed by extensive research. The appointment of Hesson in 2019 followed a similar diligent selection process. Evidently, the team has conducted a comprehensive evaluation of Flower, a figure highly esteemed in the international cricket scene.
On the appointment, Rajesh V Menon, vice president & head of Royal Challengers Bangalore, said, “Andy is one of the best coaches in the game today. He has inspired players in leagues across the world. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome him to Royal Challengers Bangalore. His track record of success is ideal to take RCB forward.”
He also thanked Hesson and Bangar. “I recognise the work put in by Mike Hesson and Sanjay Bangar, who are two coaches I respect, and I look forward to the challenge of taking RCB to new heights. I’m particularly excited to be reunited with Faf. We have worked very well together in the past and I look forward to forging our partnership and relationship into something bigger and better.”
Flower said the new assignment will be a challenge which he hoped to relish. “We have an exciting roster of players to work with, and I recognise and will relish both the amazing opportunity with RCB but also the responsibility that comes with the role. It is a great challenge, and I can’t wait to get started.”
Hesson’s association with RCB began in 2019, during which the team secured playoff berths for three consecutive years. Unfortunately, their aspirations for a top-four finish in IPL 2023 were thwarted by Shubman Gill’s exceptional performance in a must-win match. “I would like to thank the RCB management, players, support staff and the fans for a journey filled with moments that I will forever cherish,” Hesson stated.
Source: The Daily SUN.