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Flower says 'ultimatum' is a myth

Updated: 2014-01-09 07:11
By Agence France-Presse in Sydney ( China Daily)

Coach Andy Flower on Wednesday dismissed as "totally inaccurate" reports he issued an ultimatum to England cricket chiefs over misfiring star batsman Kevin Pietersen.

English media said Flower was ready to quit unless he was given guarantees that the polarizing batsman would not be selected to play under him in the fallout following the 5-0 Ashes series humiliation at the hands of Australia.

It follows rumors of a breakdown in their relationship, reportedly sparked by Pietersen making himself unavailable for ODI matches last year in order to play in the lucrative Indian Premier League.

Pietersen, 33, who finished as England's highest scorer in the series with 294 runs at 29.40, has posted a series of tweets stating he wants to remain part of the England lineup, insisting he is "determined to help regain the Ashes in 2015."

The former captain, who has been struggling with a long-term knee injury, reiterated his desire to reach 10,000 Test runs - he currently has 8,181 - and said he wanted to play in the Ashes in England next year.

Flower recently said no snap decisions would be made despite the humbling loss.

"It would be sensible and responsible to review the tour in a calm and logical manner before assessing our options for planning ahead," he said.

"I repeat that neither I nor the wider ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) leadership group have made any decisions as to the future involvement of any individuals in the playing group or in the support staff.

"Reports that I have issued an ultimatum of some description are totally inaccurate."

Paul Downton, the ECB's new managing director, will conduct an internal review of the Ashes whitewash when the futures of Flower, Pietersen and skipper Alastair Cook, among others, will be discussed.

Flower says 'ultimatum' is a myth

(China Daily 01/09/2014 page23)