Birmingham, Aug 14: Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower have become the toast of the nation following England''s ascendancy to the top in Test cricket but a media report today said it was now-India coach Duncan Fletcher, who actually kick started their journey to the pinnacle.
The report also credited former ECB Chairman Lord MacLaurin of Knebworth for radically transforming the English cricket.
It said, Fletcher was determined to check the flaws in the system and one such step was implementation of the concept of awarding central contracts to the players.
"Leadership is key, and this team are superbly led by Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower. The players work hard, making them the fittest team in world cricket....But the longer journey had begun in the late nineties when English (and Welsh!) cricket was generally an embarrassment, so lamentable that in 1999 they were briefly ranked as the worst Test team in the world.
"Lord MacLaurin of Knebworth had his detractors as the newly-formed England and Wales Cricket Board's first chairman, but without his radical modernisation methods the heady successes currently being enjoyed would simply not have been possible," the report in Daily Telegraph said.
.... The most significant upshot the introduction of central contracts. These are quite simply the most important factor in England's re-emergence as a Test nation.