The Nick Matthew column: not a good time if you are called Flower

Wigan Warriors Ben Flower fights with St Helens Paul Wellens before being given a red card during the First Utility Super League Grand Final match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday October 11, 2014. See PA story RUGBYL Super. Photo credit should read Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images
Wigan Warriors Ben Flower fights with St Helens Paul Wellens before being given a red card during the First Utility Super League Grand Final match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday October 11, 2014. See PA story RUGBYL Super. Photo credit should read Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images
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I’m currently competing at the US Open in Philadelphia but whenever I’m away, I always try and keep an eye on what’s going on in the news back home.

Usually that’s mainly Sheffield Wednesday news or the England national team but this week it’s been all about two big stories. All I can say is, it’s been a bad week for men called Flower.

First we had Kevin Pietersen’s book and the slating he gave Andy Flower. And then there was Ben Flower’s punch in the Super League Grand Final.

Even over here in America, everyone was talking about Ben Flower’s punches on Saturday night and watching it again and again on YouTube.

Flower seemed full of regret afterwards, knowing he’d blown Wigan’s chances in the first minute by punching Lance Hohaia and getting himself sent off.

The only thing I can put it down to is over-hyping the big occasion. He was probably so wound up that he didn’t even know what he was doing until after it was over.

As a sports person, you have to learn to manage your emotions for the big occasions. And it’s different for rugby players because you’re hyping yourself even more because of the physical side of the contest as well. But you learn after a certain amount of time that these occasions hype themselves. The adrenaline flows

It was a shame to see because whenever I’ve watched rugby league, it always comes across as being highly competitive, but played in the best spirit. This incident has tarnished that.

Talking about tarnishing things, the reputation of the England cricket set up has hardly shone over the last week after Pieterson’s book was released. It’s all been a bit playground in my opinion – he said this and he said that. It’s embarrassing for the game.

Andy Flower and Matt Prior seemed to come in for the most stick from KP. He says Flower ruled the dressing room like a dictator. I spent some time in Flower’s company at the Sports Personality of the Year and I don’t think you could wish to meet a nicer guy. The players seemed to like him as well.

KP wasn’t at the awards ceremony and I’ve not seen him at any of the ones I’ve been to. I think that speaks volumes about him, as does the fact he’s had fall outs wherever he’s been.

Sometimes you have to look at what the common denominator is in all these stories.