Harare - Zimbabwe Cricket chief selector Alistair Campbell sprung a surprise on Thursday in naming for team mate Grant Flower amongst a 15-man squad to play South Africa in two T20 matches on October 8 and 10.
39-year-old Flower, England coach Andy’s younger brother, was appointed six months ago to be the national team’s batting coach alongside head coach, former England test opener Alan Butcher, and former national captain Heath Streak who is the bowling coach.
But Flower’s form for English county Essex, for whom he has been a one-day specialist for the last two or three years, convinced Campbell that he could still play a role on the field.
“Having some experience around is vital as we make our way back into international cricket and head towards test cricket and there’s no doubt he still what it takes,” Campbell said. “He was a bit reluctant when I asked him and reeled off a list of about six problems with his ageing body, but I can be very persuasive,” Campbell said.
“I was looking forward to starting my coaching career against South Africa, to be honest, but Alistair just wouldn’t let it drop so the easiest thing to shut him up was to agree to play,” Flower said.
“It will be on a tour by tour basis, we’ll see how his body holds up and whether he scores any runs, but my plan is to get him through to the World Cup next year and let him retire from playing the game after that,” Campbell said.