Zimbabwe news January 4, 2011

Grant Flower retires from all cricket

ESPNcricinfo staff

Grant Flower, the Zimbabwe batsman, has formally announced his retirement from all cricket, saying he wants to focus on coaching. He had hinted at having played his last game in November, when he described the finals of the Stanbic Bank 20 Series in Zimbabwe as a "fitting end to my career". He led the Mashonaland Eagles to the trophy in that game, and received a guard of honour from his team-mates.

"I have drawn the line," Flower told zimcricket.org. "I had to make the decision whether to coach properly or continue playing properly and prepare as well as I could. I think there's enough talent coming through and I don't want to hold anyone back. I've had a good run and I've enjoyed it, but there is a transition from player to coach, and I think it's time to take it."

Flower was appointed Zimbabwe's batting coach in August and has also filled the role of player-coach for the Eagles in the 2010 season. He had retired from international cricket in 2004 after the dispute between the Zimbabwe board and the rebel players, but after six years of playing for Essex in England, made a surprise return to the national side, playing two ODIs in South Africa in October 2010.

At the time, Alistair Campbell, the Zimbabwe selector, had suggested he wanted Flower to continue till the end of the 2011 World Cup. Flower has been among the runs for Essex, averaging 65.87 in the 2010 limited overs season.