Andrew Flintoff, Graeme Swann take up mentor roles for England Lions coaching camp

Andrew Flintoff and Graeme Swann will reprise their mentorship roles with the ECB as a part of the England Lions’ upcoming coaching camp within the United Arab Emirates.

Flintoff and Swann, considered two of the nation’s most talismanic cricketers, had been each in attendance at Loughborough on Thursday, working with the 20-strong taking part in group that may fly out on November 17 for a three-week journey, primarily focussing on red-ball abilities. It’s a distinctly green-tinged social gathering, with 10 gamers concerned within the programme for the primary time, and skewed in direction of spinners and all-rounders, making the presence of the 2 trendy greats in these roles all of the extra helpful.

Each Flintoff and Swann have been concerned with the England pathway during the last 12 months. Flintoff just lately accomplished an unpaid stint with the ODI squad throughout their sequence towards Eire, presenting fellow Lancastrian Tom Hartley together with his maiden worldwide cap in Nottingham. The sequence was Flintoff’s first public look since a critical automotive crash whereas filming an episode of Prime Gear final December. He has since been compensated a reported £9 million by the BBC.

The hero of the 2005 Ashes, who scored 3,845 runs and took 226 wickets throughout 79 Exams, has additionally labored with the Below-19s, and attended Ashes Exams in the course of the 2023 summer time alongside shut buddy Rob Key, England’s managing director. Key has been integral to Flintoff’s return to the sport.

Swann, who retired in 2013 as England’s main off-spinner with 255 dismissals at a median of 29.96, accompanied the corresponding Lions tour in 2022. He was subsequently drafted as a coach for his or her tour of Sri Lanka initially of this 12 months. His enter, each round spin and ways, was such that the ECB have been eager to get him extra concerned between his current commitments as a commentator and spin coach of Trent Rockets within the males’s Hundred.

The pair will help a training crew headed by males’s elite bowling coach Neil Kileen, alongside Jim Troughton (Surrey) and Paul Tweddle (Somerset). Efficiency director Mo Bobat, who will likely be within the UAE at some point of the journey, lauded the continued involvement of Flintoff and Swann.

“He is received an enormous ardour for serving to individuals,” Bobat mentioned of Flintoff. “He’s going by means of a little bit of a journey himself. He desires to present again to the sport. He has loads to supply, and there’s a lot of vitality and enthusiasm from him, and we have now a need to get him concerned. It isn’t usually you get gamers of his calibre and expertise eager to get entangled as proactively as he does. You need to actually take that severely.

“We received him across the U19s, and he was good with them. We received him across the England lads, which I do know Jos [Buttler] and Motty [white-ball head coach Matthew Mott] actually loved. I began talking to him in the summertime, saying I would love you to return on this camp, and he mentioned he’d like to.

“In the mean time, we have now agreed that he’ll come for the entire camp, however he is in demand and we are going to see. He additionally has a number of medical issues he’s nonetheless working by means of which we have now to be respectful of. The plan is that he is there for the total camp.

“We had Swanny with us final winter and he was superb. He was even higher than I believed he was going to be across the group – good tactically, good mentoring the spinners, nice for the captains. He is making an attempt to convey that into the surroundings, and I am certain Fred will likely be related from what I’ve skilled of him so removed from this summer time.”

Take a look at gamers not concerned within the ODI World Cup may also characteristic. Seamers James Anderson and Ollie Robinson will drop in, whereas wicketkeeper Ben Foakes, who was dropped this summer time, will likely be with the Lions for the period till December 7. Ollie Pope (shoulder) and Jack Leach (again) may also journey out to proceed their rehabilitation from accidents sustained final season. Brendon McCullum may also be in attendance for a portion of the tour, accompanied by a handful of Take a look at coaches together with Key, and can work individually with the Take a look at group whereas he’s on the market.

It should even be a chance for McCullum to run the rule over a few of the Lions contingent forward of the five-match sequence in India which commences in January. Whereas quicks Matthew Potts and Josh Tongue and legspinner Rehan Ahmed are recognized portions so far as Take a look at cricket is anxious, it may current a chance for Hartley to impress.

The tall left-arm spinner has been earmarked for this Take a look at tour and, on the very least, will likely be in India on a Lions tour as a consequence of run parallel with the primary occasion. That specific group will characteristic extra senior fringe gamers taking part in a two-day warm-up adopted by three four-day matches towards India A – ideally first-class – pending affirmation from the BCCI.

It is usually probably some gamers will likely be pulled away from the Lions coaching camp for the white-ball tour of West Indies, which begins on December 3. England’s dire efficiency within the ongoing World Cup has put the onus on utilizing the eight-match tour – three ODIs and 5 T20Is – as an opportunity to blood the subsequent era.

Rehan, Potts, Tongue, Hartley and Hampshire’s younger fast John Turner could possibly be in competition. Brydon Carse, who has not featured for England since being drafted into the World Cup squad as an harm substitute for Reece Topley, has been stood down from attending the UAE camp, given what lies forward.

Vithushan Ehantharajah is an affiliate editor at ESPNcricinfo

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