Andy Flower, the former Zimbabwe batsman and England coach, has revealed how “irked” he was during the catering fiasco ahead of the 2013/14 Ashes.
The ECB nutritionist at the time infamously sent an 82-page list of England players’ catering requirements to the various venues and hotels the team was to stay in during their tour of Australia in 2013/14.
It became a source of ridicule for England, with both English and Australian media, laying into the team, and even former players slamming the ECB for their high-end requirements. The brunt of it all was felt by coach Flower, even though he said he had no part to play in it.
“I remember it very clearly. They started sniping on that topic before the tour had even started,” he told Neil Manthorp in the Following On podcast. “That situation arose because we had this young guy [Chris Rosimus] as our England cricket board nutritionist. Really good young guy. He’d worked in football before, very knowledgeable, good within a team structure. Didn’t travel with the team at all, but a very thorough bloke.
“He’d sent out a list of instructions to the hotels we were going to stay at and the event caterers at the various Test and one-day international venues we were going to in Australia. And it was very comprehensive. I didn’t even know he’d sent this out, and therefore I had no idea of the content of it either.
Happy birthday, Andy Flower!
Just how good was he with the reverse sweep 😍pic.twitter.com/k7KIRPMDMF
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) April 28, 2020
“The first I heard about it was when, initially, some Australian journalists got hold of it, and were taking the mick out of it, quite rightly really, and sort of linking that to us being a bunch of [highbrow] poms. But our English media seized on it and were a little more unkind, and weren’t quite as humourous about the topic as the Aussies had been. [They] used it as example of my overbearing micro-management of our players, processes and anything else I could get my hands on.
“It’s quite funny to look back on, but I was irked at the time, because I wasn’t even aware of the content of instructions sent out, and that any instruction was sent out to those hotels or caterers. That’s the sort of thing where you’ve got to have a bit of a thick skin and sort of take it on the chin.”
England went on to be thoroughly swept 5-0 by the Australians, with Mitchell Johnson taking 37 wickets.