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Indian Premier League

Lucknow Confirm Andy Flower as Head Coach

Andy Flower has been named coach of the Indian Premier League (IPL) Lucknow franchise. The statement came after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) granted clearance, which had previously barred the new team from making any announcements. Some restrictions remain in place.

“As a player and a coach, Andy has made an indelible impact on the history of cricket,” said Sanjiv Goenka, owner of the Lucknow IPL club. “We appreciate his professionalism and hope he would work with our vision and give value to our squad.”

Off-Auction Recruitments

The announcement was mostly along the lines of what was expected, as the franchise is likely to sign KL Rahul as one of its off-auction recruits. Rahul and Flower will be reunited as both were members of the Punjab Kings team until the end of the IPL in 2021.

Rahul was the captain of the team, and Flower was the assistant coach. “I am incredibly excited to be joining the new Lucknow franchise and I am very grateful for the opportunity,” Flower said.

“Since my very first tour to India in 1993, I have always loved touring, playing, and coaching in India. The passion for cricket in India is unrivaled and it is a real privilege to lead an IPL franchise and I am looking forward to working closely with Dr. Goenka and the Lucknow team.

I will relish the challenge to build something meaningful and successful with the Lucknow franchise, I am looking forward to meeting the management and staff when I visit Uttar Pradesh in the New Year.”

Not to make any Signing or Announcement

Meanwhile, the BCCI is understood to have warned the new team not to make any signings or announcements on player recruitments until they have received formal approval. The halt is due to the uncertainty surrounding the second new team, stationed in Ahmedabad.

CVC Sports, the owners, have not yet been properly cleared by the BCCI. The clearance of the American venture capitalist firm’s purchase of the Ahmedabad franchise is expected to take a bit longer.

Initially, Lucknow and Ahmedabad were given till December 25 to recruit a maximum of three players. With the signing freeze in place, this deadline is almost certain to be extended after the second new team is determined.

The Lucknow IPL club is part of the $7 billion RPSG Group, which previously owned the Pune Supergiants for two years in 2016 and 2017 when both the Chennai Super Kings and the Rajasthan Royals were suspended.

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