Zimbabwe in South Africa 2010 September 30, 2010

Grant Flower to make international return

ESPNcricinfo staff

Grant Flower, the 39-year-old batsman, has made a shock international return more than six years after he last played for Zimbabwe, being named in the squads for the tour of South Africa next month.

In August, Flower had returned to Zimbabwe after six seasons with Essex, to be the batting coach of the national team and the player-coach of the Mashonaland Eagles franchise.

He was one of Zimbabwe's leading players during his 12-year international career, in which he has so far played 67 Tests (3457 runs at 29.54) and 219 ODIs (6536 runs at 33.69). In 2004, he became one of the key players to leave in an exodus following Heath Streak's removal from the captaincy.

"It (international cricket) is a different pressure," Flower told the Associated Press. "I just had a good season with Essex, playing some of my best one-day cricket with them, but international cricket is a step up."

Essex were relegated to the second division of the County Championship, but Flower's 527 runs at 65.87 were pivotal to the county reaching the semi-final of the Clydesdale Bank 40 competition.

He admitted that the dual role of player and batting coach could prove to be tricky. "There can be a conflict of interests with my role as the batting coach if I can't turn things around as a player," Flower said. "It can be awkward if I don't. If it works, however, it can come out in positive fashion."

Zimbabwe's three ODIs and two Twenty20s against South Africa are their only confirmed international assignments before the World Cup starts in February next year.

Flower is the latest of several high-profile players who have become part of Zimbabwe cricket this season. Fast bowlers Allan Donald and Jason Gillespie have taken domestic coaching assignments, and former New Zealand allrounder Chris Harris has been put in charge of the national Under-19 team.

Twenty20 squad Elton Chigumbura(capt), Hamilton Masakadza , Chamu Chibhabha, Tatenda Taibu (wk), Shingirai Masakadza, Ian Nicolson, Prosper Utseya, Graeme Cremer, Charles Coventry, Ed Rainsford, Chris Mpofu, Keith Dabengwa, Grant Flower, Brendan Taylor.

ODI Squad: Elton Chigumbura (capt), Hamilton Masakadza , Chamu Chibhabha, Tatenda Taibu (wk), Shingirai Masakadza, Ian Nicolson, Prosper Utseya, Graeme Cremer, Ed Rainsford, Chris Mpofu, Keith Dabengwa, Grant Flower, Sean Williams, Craig Ervine, Brendan Taylor.

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  • Baynham Tanaka on October 5, 2010, 13:01 GMT

    betterthanboycott Elton the weak link?! Hello! he is one of Zim's key players! He is struggling with the ball though. As for Captain I still maintain Taibu should be captain. One other player is Tino Mawoyo who just scored 208 not out against New Zealand A. I would probably have Ervine at number 3 otherwise pretty much a reasonable team, I don't know about Anthony Irelan.This is the website of choice for all things on Zim cricket and players current, old and those who just "disappeared" http://www.zimcricketforums.com

  • ZCF on October 4, 2010, 11:21 GMT

    @Hitesh Modi. He plays for Auckland and this is his profile> http://www.cricinfo.com/zimbabwe/content/player/55395.html. Now people your serious opinions on this selection: 1hamilton masakadza, 2brendan taylor, 3sean williams, 4grant flower(c), 5sean ervine(vc), 6tatenda taibu(vc after flower retires), 7colin de grandhomme, 8elton chigumbura(weak link in this lineup has to improve his bowling!), 9anthony ireland, 10edward rainsford, 11raymond price.

    Batting replacements: vusi sibanda&craig ervine(top and middle order respectively); Bowling replacements: lamb(straight swap for flower when he retires), mpofu/jarvis for rainsford et al, cremer/utseya(for price when he retires); Allrounder: blignaut(for chigumbura).

    Goodwin would be the icing but his wife won't let him come so the other generally notable options are mark vermeulen, forster mutizwa(wk), chibhabha & coventry who is deployed too low down the order, but must take his chances.

  • ZCF on October 4, 2010, 7:53 GMT

    @Harrison Burnard. Without a doubt Colin De Grandhomme would be a great asset to New Zealand, but the New Zealand selectors don't share the same urgent enthusiasm about him as you do. The fact of the matter is next year when Zim resumes test cricket, Colin can literally walk into the side, while he can only continue to be an emerging player for New Zealand for another 2-3yrs with no guarantees of national selection at that. The choice is entirely up to him though. But looking at the side that I selected, I think it's good enough for top six in test/odi cricket! What do you say?

  • Dummy4 on October 4, 2010, 6:33 GMT

    Can anybody enlighten me on which team in The New Zealand domestic league that Colin de Grandhomme is playing, as I lost touch with his career movement when he left Zim. Gary Brent also seems to have gone into hiding? Any news where this man is.

  • Dummy4 on October 4, 2010, 1:56 GMT

    @betterthanboycot I think Colin De Grandhomme should play for NZ!

  • Dummy4 on October 3, 2010, 13:18 GMT

    Zimbawian cricket team is looking in good touch after a tough period.... Now its perfect time.. as it will be perfect for zimbabwe cricket with the mixture of youth and experience.... would be happy to see Sean Ervine also.........

  • ZCF on October 3, 2010, 13:11 GMT

    Hi guys. In view of the fact that Zim is preparing for reentry into the test arena soon it's important to pick&groom a solid team which has the potential to compete and beat the best. Without fail we need to bring back the kolpak/foreign based cricketers so I've picked my 11 with them included. I doubt many will argue with this 11 - excellent batting up to No.8, 5 quick seamers and many parttime spin options. Kindly comment on it objectively. 1hamilton masakadza 2brendan taylor 3sean williams 4grant flower(c) 5sean ervine(vc) 6tatenda taibu(vc after flower retires) 7colin de grandhomme 8elton chigumbura(weak link in this lineup has to improve his bowling!) 9anthony ireland 10edward rainsford 11raymond price OPTIONS Batting: vusi sibanda&craig ervine are options for the top and middle order respectively. Bowling: lamb straight swap for flower when he retires mpofu/jarvis for rainsford et al cremer/utseya for price when he retires Allrounder: blignaut for chigumbura

  • TholletBeura on October 3, 2010, 11:10 GMT

    Its great news for every Zim cricket supporter. He was a good opening batsman and played the role of an anchor very well and be remainded that he is only the other player with more than 100 ODI wickets besides Streak

  • milward on October 2, 2010, 11:01 GMT

    i have not problem having him in the team, i think it will make a positive difference and inspire the youngsters thats is if he can help Zim win the T20 matches. i guess its for a short period though but should be interesting hey

  • Baynham Tanaka on October 2, 2010, 7:59 GMT

    Grant Flower! The reason why I think this is going backwards is for the fact that he is coming in as the Batting Coach / player! How can he be impartial there WILL be conflict of interest and besides there are Younger guys who have proven themselves and they are just being left out, how is he really going to be impartial when the very person he is coaching is playing for HIS position! There is Tino Mawoyo and Foster Mutizwa who should have had that place. And he concentrate on the coaching.

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