The appointment this week of Andy Flower as the England team's new 'Director' (what most of us know as a coach) was, on most levels, a further triumph for the potent forces of English conservatism.

I've got no idea whether Flower will prove to be a success or not. Some in the media, such as Mike Atherton, are guarded, others, like Mike Selvey, seem to think he's the best thing since sliced bread.

It's undeniable that Flower was a great cricketer, courageous both on the field and off it, but the main reason behind his appointment seems to have been the fact that he was already doing the job and he gets on well with Andrew Strauss. Precious few of the high profile candidates who were supposed to have been 'headhunted' by the ECB's chosen firm made it anywhere near the final cut, the only exception being John Wright, who was apparently telephoned by the selection panel as a way of making it look less like an open and shut decision.

Personally, given his background and experience, I'd have thought Wright was worth a closer look, but I suppose, after a period of turmoil, you can't really blame the board for choosing what appears to be the safe option, even if his basic credentials (and his performance so far, if judged on results) aren't the strongest.

The last time they made a risky decision - the appointment of Pietersen as captain last summer - it went sour within months.

One can only hope that this appointment lasts a little longer.

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