New Zealand v England: Andy Flower defends Queensland trip

New Zealand v England: England coach Andy Flower rejects suggestions that trip to Queensland at start of tour was a holiday

andy flower
The second Test gets under way on Thursday in Wellington Photo: The Sport Review

andy flower

England coach Andy Flower has rejected suggestions that his side’s trip to Queensland at the start of their tour in New Zealand was a holiday.

In the face of media accusations that England were underprepared and overconfident for last week’s First Test in Dunedin, Flower has been forced to defend his team.

“There’s been a bit of criticism that we had a little bit of a holiday camp in Queenstown,” said Flower.

“I think it’s inaccurate, I encouraged the guys to do different things.”

England have been under-par in the longer format of the game on the tour, losing to a New Zealand XI before rescuing a draw in Dunedin.

But Flower does not believe the activities, which included a canyon swing and a round of golf, affected the tourists’ preparations.

He added: “We encourage guys to have outside interests, and we don’t want them to sit in hotels spending repetitive hours on the internet or watching movies or slobbing around.

“We want them to get out and be active and be interested in the world around them.

“I think it is a poor reflection on people if they criticise players for being inquisitive and curious about life outside a touring hotel.”

The second Test begins in Wellington on Thursday, and while Flower has confirmed reports that batsman Kevin Pietersen has suffered a knee injury, he does not believe it will cut short his series.

“He’s got a little bit of pain in his right knee, but most of the players play with something that’s sore most of the time,” he said.

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