Great news for all Zimbabwean cricket fans is that Zimbabwe Cricket has appointed Essex all rounder and former Zimbabwe cricket player Grant Flower as batting coach to become effective this October.
It is understood that Grant will be working with new head coach Alan Butcher, bowling Coach and former Zimbabean team mate Heath Streak and local franchise coach Steven Mangongo
Grant Flower, brother of current English coach Andrew Flower, left the Zimbabwe side in 2004 with a group of players termed the “rebels” following disagreements with Zimbabwe Cricket management over how the sport was being administered in the country. Since then he has been playing very successfully English county side Essex.
It is hoped that Zimbabwe will in the next few years be invited to return to playing test cricket after they withdrew in 2006 and it is because of this that Zim Cricket has embarked on an aggressive program to strengthen its technical support staff. This program is in line with recommendations from the International Cricket Council to develop local domestic structures as well as strengthen technical support structures within the organization.
Grant Flower’s Test Playing Career Highlights
Educated at St George’s College in Harare, Grant Flower played in Zimbabwe’s Inaugural Test match against India. He opened the batting and went on to score 82, falling short of a century on Test debut. His first test century was also a double hundred, scoring 201 not out against Pakistan when they toured Zimbabwe in 1995. His innings would help Zimbabwe to win their first ever Test match as they won by a convincing Innings and 64 Runs.
Grant became the first Zimbabwean to score a century in both innings of a Test match in 1997 against New Zealand where he scored 104 and 151 in Harare.
Grant Flower’s ODI Career Highlights
A little known fact is that other than Heath Streak Grant Flower has taken more ODI wickets than any other Zimbabwean bowler. In total he scored 6 ODI tons and 9 times he was either unbeaten or dismissed in the 90’s. One of his most memorable centuries would come in the final of a one-day triangular tournament in Bangladesh. Playing against Kenya he smashed an 82 ball century and finished with 140, just 2 short of David Houghton’s national record.
Zimbabwe Cricket Books
Amazon, have a bunch of Zim related cricket books, including “A History of the Rhodesia and Zimbabwe National Sides” by Jonty Winch who traces the history of cricket in this country (Zimbabwe) from the first recorded game played in 1890, through two World Wars and a guerilla war, to the comparative peace of post-independence and eventual world recognition in the 1980s when Zimbabwe was able to send a side to England to take part in the I.C.C. Trophy competition which it won.
There is also the Autobiography of another great Zimbabwean cricket coach Duncan Fletcher “Behind the Shades”
Zimbabwe Cricket Books on Amazon.com
At the moment Amazon UK don’t have as wide selection as the US site, but I have ordered books from the US and had them delivered to the UK with no problems.
Zimbabwe Cricket on Amazon.co.uk