Flower right to demand voice when planning fixtures

The ECB this week had to deny that coach Andy Flower was being considered to play in a World Cup warm-up match against Canada later this month.

A fairly ludicrous thing to have to dismiss I'm sure you will agree considering he is 42, played his cricket for Zimbabwe (despite now being an English citizen) and last played international cricket in 2003.

But such is the length of England's injury list and the rapidly depleting days left before the start of the World Cup, there is a real chance that England may only have 10 fit players for the Canada game, with ICC chiefs saying players outside the original World Cup party cannot be picked, though coaching staff may play. It seems a silly situation and anyone following the cricket live scores would agree.

This almost farcical situation must have played some part in Flower's recent comments, where he stated his belief that coaches should have more say in the scheduling of international cricket.

If this was the case now I'm sure Flower would raise some objections to the way England's cricket calendar has shaped up over the past few months.

The tour down under finally came to an end on Sunday – more than three months after England played their first warm-up game.

Those involved in the World Cup squad will then have just three days at home before jetting out again to India and Bangladesh for the two-and-a-half month long World Cup. The English domestic season starts just two weeks after the conclusion of that.

Some common sense needs to be put back into these fixture lists and those keeping track of the live scores goalwire would probably say the same.

Planners are focusing too much on the financial side of things, looking to cram extra games in to maximise income. Someone like Flower would remind these people that the stars on show – the reason why punters pay at the gate – are not machines and a ridiculous busy cricket calendar will result in player burn out and increasing apathy from paying supporters.

Though they only need to look at the England treatment room for evidence of that.