Flower and Hondo strengthen Zimbabwe side

Grant Flower's return has strengthened Zimbabwe's squad, who return to Australia, to take part in the VB Series against Australia and India, starting next month. Flower missed the earlier Test tour due to a broken finger.

Also returning is Douglas Hondo, who damaged a thigh muscle before the Test series against Australia started, and wasn't able to play. Heath Streak will captain the side with Tatenda Taibu as his vice-captain.

Streak said the one-day series was another opportunity for the talented young players in the Zimbabwe squad to develop their skills. He said, "we know that this tournament will be another step up in terms of intensity against the teams that met in the final of the World Cup in March."

Geoff Marsh, the Zimbabwe coach, welcomed Flower back to the side. "He and players like Heath Streak, Stuart Carlisle and Craig Wishart form a group with more than 500 one-day international caps between them. Add the talent of younger players like Taibu, Andy Blignaut, Raymond Price, Mark Vermeulen, Sean Ervine, Travis Friend and Douglas Hondo and we have a squad that is capable of doing well against two of the best one-days teams in the world.

Zimbabwe open their tour with a match at Perth against Australia A on New Year's Day with another match against Australia A in Adelaide on January 7, following a January 4 match against Western Australia. Their first VB Series game is a day-night match against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground on January 11.

Squad 1 Heath Streak (capt), 2 Vusi Sibanda, 3 Mark Vermeulen, 4 Stuart Matsikenyeri, 5 Craig Wishart, 6 Stuart Carlisle, 7 Tatenda Taibu (wk), 8 Andy Blignaut, 9 Sean Ervine, 10 Grant Flower, 11 Travis Friend, 12 Douglas Hondo, 13 Blessing Mahwire, 14 Ray Price.