LONDON (Reuters) – England coach Andy Flower has called on the International Cricket Council (ICC) to change the regulations regarding bad light after his side narrowly missed out on a dramatic victory in the final Ashes test on Sunday.
Chasing 227 after a bold declaration from Australia captain Michael Clarke, England were 21 runs short of their target with four overs remaining when bad light forced the players off the field at the Oval.
“Where I think the ICC could improve the regulations, and we ve spoken with ICC officials about this for years, I think the description that they use when judging bad light and when they consider whether it s dangerous or not – often it is not dangerous and it s a poor description of that particular regulation,” Flower told a press conference on Monday.
“In my opinion it should be whether the contest between bat and ball is reasonable and fair.
“If there are spinners bowling, under their regulations at the moment it almost means you could play until it is dark because it s obviously not dangerous.”
Clarke had declared his side s second innings on 111 for six in a bid to force a result, but having been criticised for their slow batting in the first innings, England quickly set about reaching their target, helped by Kevin Pietersen s quick-fire 62 and 59 from Jonathan Trott.
They were in sight of sealing their first 4-0 win in a home Ashes series when the umpires took the players from the field, much to the displeasure of those at the ground.
“I do think they need to change those regulations and cricket will be better for it,” Flower added.
Despite the 3-0 scoreline which secured England the famous urn for a third consecutive series, they have come under fire for some of their performances, but Flower rejected suggestions his side was more workmanlike than exciting.
“I wouldn t describe Jimmy Anderson s bowling at Trent Bridge as attritional, I wouldn t describe Kevin Pietersen s batting yesterday as attritional, Stuart Broad s incredible spell up at Durham as attritional.
“If anything that s a very negative spin on the topic.” That said, Flower acknowledged that there was room for improvement ahead of the return series, which begins in Brisbane on Nov. 21.
“Winning away in Australia is a tough ask without a doubt but we know that we are capable of it,” he said.
“We will have to play some of our best cricket, in this series we didn t play our best cricket, I think that is fair to say, and there is room for us to improve and our guys will be working hard to ensure that happens.”
Having stepped down as England s one-day and Twenty20 coach last year, there had been speculation regarding Flower s future with the test side, something the former Zimbabwe international dismissed.
“I don t look too far ahead as regards to my own personal situation, we ve got the challenge of an away Ashes coming up, but at the moment we re reflecting on a job well done by the players and they should feel very proud of themselves and very satisfied.”