Cricket coach Tom Flowers helps oversee Australia whitewash

Tom Flowers has coaching aspirations potentially beyond cricket EMN-190611-123332002
Tom Flowers has coaching aspirations potentially beyond cricket EMN-190611-123332002
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Tom Flowers added another feather to his coaching cap after overseeing the must sought-after feat in English cricket - a Tour whitewash of Australia.

Flowers, who grew up in Asfordby, is coach of the England Learning Disability squad which won every game of their tour Down Under against the old foe.

The England LD squad in Australia with Flowers (right) EMN-190611-122931002

The England LD squad in Australia with Flowers (right) EMN-190611-122931002

England’s learning disability cricketers opened with a 3-0 win in the one-day series which formed part of the INAS Global Games – a multi-sport event for athletes with intellectual disabilities.

Taking a 3-0 lead in the five-match T20 series that followed sealed the INAS gold medal.

But England showed their ruthless streak by completing a 5-0 win to complete that rarest of accomplishments – a Tour whitewash.

“It’s been a really successful few years, first winning the tri-nations series in 2017 and now this,” said Flowers.

Tom Flowers juggles his England role with running a cricket business and work towards further coaching badges EMN-190611-122750002

Tom Flowers juggles his England role with running a cricket business and work towards further coaching badges EMN-190611-122750002

“It went far better than we could have imagined.

“As a squad we set ourselves goals and targets of how we can improve and are meeting them, and on a personal level, it’s another milestone for my coaching career.

“It can be full-on at times, balancing it with everything else, but it’s worth it for times like that.”

In a crowded marketplace of sport in this country, the England LD cricket team received unprecedented levels of attention for their achievements this autumn.

As well as coverage from the media and ECB, team captain Chris Jackson received a personal message of congratulations from former England women’s skipper Charlotte Edwards.

The players also rubbed shoulders with Australian Ashes winners Michael Kasprowicz and Chis Rogers during the series, and played at the professional surroundings of Cricket Australia’s National Academy.

“It’s not all about recognition, but it’s great that the players are getting the recognition they deserve,” Flowers added.

“Last time we won the series two years ago we got invited to Lords for a Test an the players got on Sky Sports.

“But the battle we face is exposure. As well as results, my role as coach is trying to get our squad out there.”

Flowers has occupied the position for four-and-a-half years, juggling his duties with the national team to running his coaching business across the region, as well as the position of Barkby United CC’s head of cricket, until last year.

An enthusiastic student, he is also now immersing himself in the ECB Level 4 Master coaching qualification which he is due to complete next year.

“I missed the batting module with Mark Ramprakash which was the only negative of being away,” he said.

“I just enjoy learning more. Financially and with my business I’m pretty happy with the day-to-day, but it’s nice to know in the future you have other avenues you can potentially explore.

“In performance sport there are no guarantees!”

An academy headship within the First Class county cricket is among a few aspirations further down the line.

A pan-sports role also appeals, emulating Sir Clive Woodward who worked as Team GB director of sport at the 2012 Olympics after guiding England Rugby to World Cup glory in 2003.

“I’m looking more into leadership roles and directors roles, heading programmes up which really interests me,” Flowers explained.

“Once you have reached the elite in sport there is a big overlap, so I’d look for opportunities not only in cricket but also in other sports.”

But for the immediate future, Flowers remains passionate about his work with the England LD team and has the appetite to take them further.

“I still think there is work we can do to take these guys further,” he added.

“It’s a rewarding and enjoyable job. What we get to see these guys do personally, as well as developing on the field, is probably the most rewarding thing.

“It’s comforting to know you are making a difference for people who are quite vulnerable in society.”