Andy Flower Takes Charge as RCB Head Coach to Revive IPL Fortunes

Andy Flower

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have named Andy Flower as their new head coach in a bid to bounce back from a disappointing IPL 2023 campaign that saw them miss the playoffs for the first time in four seasons. Andy Flower’s initial contract is for three years.

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The decision to appoint Flower came after a thorough review of the team’s performance over the past three years, during which RCB finished sixth in the 2023 season and narrowly missed out on the playoffs. Andy Flower will be reunited with Faf du Plessis, the team’s captain, as they had previously worked together during Flower’s tenure as head coach of St Lucia Kings in the CPL(Caribbean Premier League).

Andy Flower takes over from Sanjay Bangar, the former India all-rounder, who had been in discussions with Rajasthan Royals for a similar coaching position under Kumar Sangakkara. RCB is also set to appoint a new director of cricket operations, who will replace Mike Hesson.

This appointment is expected to happen in the coming months, according to RCB vice-president Rajesh Menon.

The new director will be responsible for selecting specialist coaches, which raises questions about the future of the current incumbents, including Adam Griffiths (bowling coach), S Sriram (assistant coach), and Malolan Rangarajan (lead scout and fielding coach).

In an official statement, Andy Flower acknowledged the work of Mike Hesson and Sanjay Bangar, expressing respect for the two coaches. He also expressed excitement about reuniting with Faf du Plessis and looked forward to building a strong partnership with him.

Prior to joining RCB, Flower was the head coach of Lucknow Super Giants until the end of IPL 2023. Under his guidance, the team had made back-to-back playoffs in their first two years in the competition. However, he was replaced by Justin Langer in July, and before that, he had been associated with Punjab Kings in the IPL.

Flower brings an impressive track record with him, having won the T20 World Cup with England in 2010. He has also coached teams to titles in various T20 leagues, including the PSL (Multan Sultans), ILT20 (Gulf Giants), and the men’s Hundred (Trent Rockets). While serving as the head coach, St Lucia Kings reached the CPL final on two occasions. Recently, Flower worked as a consultant with Australia during the men’s Ashes.

Mike Hesson had previously taken over as head coach of RCB in 2019, following the non-renewal of contracts for Gary Kirsten, Ashish Nehra, and Vikram Solanki, after the team’s last-place finish that season. Hesson led RCB to three consecutive playoffs before their performance declined, culminating in a must-win league game defeat against Gujarat Titans in the 2023 season. Sanjay Bangar joined RCB in 2022, succeeding Simon Katich as head coach, based on Virat Kohli’s recommendation.

Earlier reports had indicated that RCB was considering changes to its coaching staff, with contracts usually up for renewal around September. The franchise wanted to give Flower sufficient time and space leading up to the auction.

Regarding the RCB women’s team, a new head coach is expected to be appointed soon, as Mike Hesson had filled the role during the first season of the Women’s Premier League. However, the management of the women’s team is unlikely to come under the purview of the new director of cricket. Instead, they aim to have only the head coach and captain managing the women’s team. RCB women finished fifth among six teams in the inaugural season.