Outgoing England cricket coach Andy Flower explains exit

Flower, right, was reportedly at odds with batsman Kevin Pietersen. Photo: PA

Andy Flower has been explaining the reasons for stepping down as England's Director of Cricket.

The outgoing coach said in a statement tonight he no longer felt able to revive the team’s cricketing fortunes in all formats. He said it was a difficult decision.

South African Flower, 45, added: “Following the recent very disappointing Ashes defeat, it is clear to me this is now time for England cricket - led by Alastair Cook - to rebuild with a new set of values and goals."

The move paves the way for a new manager, with One Day coach Ashley Giles among the favourites to succeed him.

Flower has had huge success since he got the job in 2009. He has overseen three Ashes victories, including the first in Australia since the 1980s.

He has also taken England to number one in the Test rankings, won a Series in India, and secured the country's first ever world title with victory in the T20 competition.

But the capitulation in this latest Series was always going to claim victims, with batsman Jonathan Trott having already returned home early with a stress-related illness, and Graeme Swann's retirement midway through.

It is likely that Flower will retain a management post within the ECB, possibly at their training Centre in Loughborough.