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Flower plays down Prior incident

Posted by on June 9, 2011 0 Comment

England coach Andy Flower is confident that Matt Prior will put his “freak accident” in the Lord’s dressing room behind him, having witnessed the incident which saw Prior break a window.

Flower insists that too much has been made of ‘windowgate’, in which the broken glass injured a female spectator below, prompting an apology from Prior before England went into the field on the final day.

The International Cricket Council officially reprimanded Prior, but Flower is adamant that the issue should now be closed.

“I do know him well, and he is a good man,” Flower said of his wicketkeeper-batsman.

“I was there, right there, two metres away when that happened. I saw it. There was no real malicious intent at all.

“He was a little frustrated and shoved his bat in the corner, and it knocked around and bounced off one or two other bats and hit the pane of glass.

“It was a freak accident, but definitely an accident. It is a shame that people will think anything other than that.

“It is not a major incident by any stretch of the imagination, and everybody should put it behind them really.

“If there was more to it, then of course it should be taken further. But there really is not.”

As for his side’s performance at the home of cricket Flower admitted that it wasn’t their best performance, yet he was encouraged by the way that they responded to difficult situations.

Although England collapsed to 22 for three on the opening morning of the second Test, they finished the game on top of Sri Lanka and pushing hopefully for victory.

“People reacted very well to that pressure situation. It was very impressive, excellent,” Flower said of England’s first-innings recovery.

“To get to 22 for three in the first place was not our most successful piece of batting.

“But from the position we were in, Cook, (Ian) Bell and others did an outstanding job resurrecting the innings.

“I thought it was a tricky second innings. When it started it was in bowler-friendly conditions, and we know Lord’s changes character in those overhead conditions.

“We needed to be very good on that fourth afternoon – and I thought (Alastair) Cook, (Jonathan) Trott and (Kevin) Pietersen did really well.”

Pietersen’s 72 was arguably the most encouraging aspect for England, who have seen their star batsman endure a worrying dip in form over the past couple of years.

“It was significant. I liked the determination and the way he approached that innings,” said Flower.

“He was very selective early on, and did the right thing by the team on Monday evening by ensuring he was not out with Cook for the next day.

“In the context of the game and for the team, that innings was a good one.

“He is a class batsman, and we hope that will kickstart a great summer for him. I don’t see any reason why it won’t be.

“I think Kevin showed yesterday, and the evening before, how comfortably he can play left-arm spin.

“If he continues in that mode, he will be making a lot of runs against all types of bowlers.” Cricket365

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