England schedule could cause Andy Flower exit - Vaughan

Andy Flower
Flower has previously voiced concerns over England team scheduling

Former England captain Michael Vaughan fears that coach Andy Flower could walk away from his post because of an increasingly hectic schedule.

Flower bemoaned the extent of England's recent winter tour during which some players and coaching staff spent more than five months away from home.

"I do fear for Andy Flower," Vaughan told the Wisden Cricketer.

"The last thing you'd want is to risk him passing on the reins because the job involves so much time away."

The winter campaign, starting in November 2010, included a stay of more than three months in Australia for the Ashes and subsequent one-day series, as well as a stint between February and March at the 2011 World Cup in the sub-continent, with less than a week to rest in between tours.

Flower, who succeeded Peter Moores as team coach in 2009, has been given much credit for England's 3-1 series victory in Australia which came after his side won the ICC World Twenty20 final in May 2010.

But Vaughan added: "It's important to keep him [Flower] fresh because he's done such a good job."

"You look at the guys with young families, and they're the ones who're going to be affected. I couldn't do the touring that they do now."

Vaughan has also had his say on the future of Kevin Pietersen as a lynchpin of England's batting ahead of this summer's programme against Sri Lanka and newly-crowned world champions India.

Pietersen had shown signs of returning to the form that resulted in him equalling the record as the fastest player to reach 1,000 one-day runs, scoring 129 in England's first three World Cup games, before a hernia injury forced him to fly home early.

Before the tournament the 30-year-old South African-born batsmen had denied reports that he was intending to retire from one-day internationals in order to concentrate on tests and Twenty20s.

But former team-mate Vaughan said it was now important for Pietersen to go on a charm offensive and regain support from England fans.

"He's an amazing talent, but it's clear that somewhere in the last year something hasn't been right mentally with him," Vaughan explained.

"He has to convince England supporters that he's desperate to play for England and the only way he'll do that is by scoring runs.

"He won't do it by talking. He won't do it by celebrating over the top with the team when they get a wicket. He'll do it by scoring hundreds for England, like Jonathan Trott is now.

"He has to do that and he has to do it on a consistent basis in all conditions."

England begin their summer programme with a three-Test series against Sri Lanka, starting in Cardiff on 26 May.

They will then face the beaten World Cup finalists in a Twenty20 international and a five-match one-day international series.

England's four-Test programme against India, the current number one ranked Test side, begins at Lord's on 21 July with a Twenty20 clash and five-match one-day series to follow.