Grant Flower - Zimbabwe
Grant Flower played in what was probably the golden era of Zimbabwean cricket, from the early 1990's to early 2000's. Players such as Alistair Campbell, Guy Whittal, Eddo Brandes, Heath Streak and his own enigmatic elder brother Andy Flower (now the director of the English Cricket Team) made Zimbabwe a team which could take on the strongest teams of that era head on.
Image courtesy espncricinfo.com
Grant was an attractive stroke maker though he could also buckle down and hold an end up for long periods of time. He made his test debut against India in 1992 and made an impressive 82 in his debut innings. He made a classy 201* in a match in which Andy compiled a 156 of his own as Zimbabwe scored a mammoth 544/4 declared against Pakistan in 1994/1995 at Harare. Zimbabwe went on to win the match by an innings and 64 runs. He was also Man of the Match against India when Zimbabwe beat the Indians in a thriller by 3 runs in the 1999 World Cup. How well I remember that match, it was nothing short of a nightmare!!
Besides being a competent batsman, Grant was also a handy bowler. His slow left arm spin got him over a hundred wickets in ODI cricket making him the country's most successful bowler, only after Heath Streak. He was also a brilliant fielder who prowled in and around the gully and point positions.
Grant fell out with the Zimbabwe Cricket Union over the rebel players issue and formally announced his retirement in 2004 though he was shockingly recalled later in 2010 during a 3 match series against South Africa. It appeared at that point in time that he would play the 2011 ICC World Cup in Sub Continent though that was not to be.
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