Grant Flower

Grant William Flower (born 20 December 1970) is a Zimbabwean cricket coach and former cricketer. He is the current batting coach of Sri Lanka cricket team and Sussex.

Grant Flower
Grant Flower.jpg
Personal information
Born (1970-12-20) 20 December 1970 (age 51)
Salisbury, Rhodesia
NicknameFlower Power
BattingRight handed
BowlingSlow left arm orthodox
RoleAll-rounder
RelationsAndy Flower (brother)
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 7)18 October 1992 v India
Last Test26 February 2004 v Bangladesh
ODI debut (cap 27)25 October 1992 v India
Last ODI17 October 2010 v South Africa
ODI shirt no.68
Domestic team information
YearsTeam
1994/95–2003/04Mashonaland
2002Leicestershire
2005–2010Essex
2010/11Mashonaland Eagles
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches 67 221 188 366
Runs scored 3,457 6,571 10,898 10,758
Batting average 29.54 33.52 37.19 34.92
100s/50s 6/15 6/40 23/58 13/69
Top score 201* 142* 243* 148*
Balls bowled 3,378 5,462 12,511 8,962
Wickets 25 104 166 188
Bowling average 61.48 40.62 33.76 35.77
5 wickets in innings 0 0 3 0
10 wickets in match 0 0 0 0
Best bowling 4/41 4/32 7/31 4/32
Catches/stumpings 43/– 86/– 174/– 140/–
Source: Cricinfo, 6 January 2022

He is rated among the best Zimbabwean cricketers in history for his consistent left arm spin and fine batting skills. He was a fitness fanatic who spends hours in the gym, and was also regarded as a brilliant fielder who was usually seen in the gully. "Flower Power", the combination of Grant and his brother Andy Flower, was the mainstay of Zimbabwean batting for a decade.[1] He was his team's most successful opening batsman who played the role of anchorman, with strokeplayers coming in down the order.

He played a lead role in, arguably, Zimbabwe's finest Test victory, against a strong Pakistan side. He would show a liking for the Pakistani side over his career, averaging over 40 against them and scoring 3 centuries including an unbeaten 201. In July 2014, he was appointed as batting coach of the Pakistan cricket team for a period of two years but went onto serve in the position until August 2019.[2][3]

He was also the first batsman to have carried his bat across two different formats and also the only batsman to have carried out his bat in both ODIs as well as in tests.

Early daysEdit

Grant Flower was born in Salisbury, Rhodesia and was educated along with his brother Andy at North Park School where they were the best players in their age groups. Although always an allrounder, he bowled seamers in his early days and his bowling was rated more than his batting. He changed to spin bowling in high school. Quite clearly, Flower is part of the famous talent production line from St George’s College, which also includes England cricketers Sam and Tom Curran as well as New Zealand international Colin de Grandhomme among a plethora of other internationally capped players.[4]

In the summer of 1990/91 his elevation to a professional cricketer was confirmed when he was employed by the Zimbabwe Cricket Union. His debut first-class game for Zimbabwe came against England A. In his second match he opened the innings and was rewarded with a fifty adding what would be the first of many century partnerships with his brother Andy.

At just 19, Flower was part of the 1990 ICC tournament where the winner would qualify for the World Cup. Zimbabwe would go on to win the competition with Grant Flower scoring heavily in the early games. Had they not won the competition it is likely that Zimbabwe would not have made their rise to Test cricket, at least not until much later. Grant Flower missed out on the 1992 World Cup due to injury. In 1993, Grant spent a season in England with Widnes Cricket Club in the Manchester and District Cricket Association. He also spent a season at Wallasey Cricket Club of the Liverpool Cricket Competition in 1995.

International careerEdit

Test careerEdit

 
Flower batting for Essex against Cambridge UCCE, April 2005

After the World Cup Zimbabwe were promoted to Test status and Flower was unanimously selected to play against the Indians for the Inaugural Test match on 18 October 1992. On a flat pitch, he opened the batting for his country and dominated in a 100 run opening stand. He would go on to score 82, falling short of a century on Test debut.[5] Zimbabwe again met the Indians this time on their home turf and again fell just short of a maiden Test century when he fell for 96.

Pakistan toured Zimbabwe in 1995 and in the 1st Test Flower finally scored his maiden Test century. Not content, he went on to register double hundred. He hit only 12 boundaries and faced 523 balls as Zimbabwe scored a massive 4/544 declared. His innings would help Zimbabwe to win their first Test match as they won by a convincing Innings and 64 Runs. He would continue to haunt the Pakistani side, scoring his second Test century at Sheikhupura Stadium in Pakistan.

In 1997 Flower became the first Zimbabwean to score a century in both innings of a Test match. Playing against New Zealand in Harare, he scored 104 and 151. A year later he scored his 5th Test century, an innings of 156 not out at Queens Sports Club against Pakistan. He would suffer a form slump after that innings, not scoring a 99 for 33 innings including 6 ducks. On 25 November 2000 he ended his slump with a fine 106 against India and would go on to score 4 50's in his next 6 innings.

One Day International careerEdit

 
Flower (on the right) with Essex teammate Will Jefferson.

By the end of his ODI career, Flower had taken more wickets than any other Zimbabwean bowler except Heath Streak. His ODI statistics make better reading than his Test statistics. He would score 6 ODI tons and had it not been for the nervous nineties may have had many more. 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 the national record at the time. He holds the record for taking the most catches as fielder for Zimbabwe in ODI history(86)[6]

Flower more importantly was the first batsman to carry his bat right through the completed innings of an ODI.[7] He also holds the unique record for being the only batsman in ODI cricket to have carried his bat in a One Day International match in a winning cause.[8][9]

Late careerEdit

In 2004 he announced his retirement from international cricket. This was due largely to the dispute between the rebels and the Zimbabwean Cricket Union. He signed a contract with Essex as a Kolpak player where he played alongside his brother Andy. There was some grumbling amongst Essex supporters at his signing, but this appeared to die down after his first season, when he topped the Essex 2005 List-A batting averages and was third in the number of wickets taken.

ReturnEdit

Following another fine season for Essex which turned out to be his last season of county cricket, Flower was handed a shock recall to the Zimbabwe team for the tour of South Africa. He was expected to combine playing duties with his role of batting coach of the national side and was in contention to play in the 2011 Cricket World Cup held in India.[10][11] He made his international return in October 2010 during the first ODI of the three-match series against South Africa.[12]

Coaching careerEdit

He was appointed as the batting coach of Zimbabwe in October 2010 and served in the position until 2013.[13] On May 2014, he was appointed as the batting coach of Pakistan cricket team.[14] His contract was ended in August 2019 by PCB after Pakistan's dismal performance at the 2019 Cricket World Cup.[15][16] He was instrumental in Pakistan's triumph at the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy which Flower himself considers as his personal achievement.[17] He was appointed as the head coach of Rangpur Riders for the 2019–20 Bangladesh Premier League.[18]

In December 2019, he was appointed as the batting coach of Sri Lanka for a contract of two years.[19][20][21][22] On 8 July 2021, he was tested positive for COVID-19 on his return to Sri Lanka from England following the limited overs series between Sri Lanka and England.[23][24] It was revealed that Flower is under stable position along with Sri Lanka cricket data analyst GT Niroshan.[25]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Grant Flower: Nine facts about the former Zimbabwe batsman". Cricket Country. 20 December 2015. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  2. ^ "Grant Flower starts Pakistan job". New Zimbabwe. 15 July 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  3. ^ "PCB retains Grant Flower as Pakistan batting coach; extends services by a year-Sports News, Firstpost". Firstpost. 26 July 2017. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  4. ^ "Grant Flower: Resolute Zimbabwean batsman who carved out a fine career despite living in brother Andy's shadow". Cricket Country. 20 December 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  5. ^ "14 Riveting facts about Grant Flower". CricTracker. 20 December 2015. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  6. ^ "Cricket Records | Records | Zimbabwe | One-Day Internationals | Most catches | ESPN Cricinfo". Cricinfo. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  7. ^ "Records | One-Day Internationals | Batting records | Carrying bat through a completed innings | ESPN Cricinfo". Cricinfo. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  8. ^ "8th Match: England v Zimbabwe at Sydney, Dec 15, 1994 | Cricket Scorecard | ESPN Cricinfo". Cricinfo. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  9. ^ "ENGLAND v ZIMBABWE". Cricinfo. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  10. ^ "Grant Flower to make international return". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  11. ^ "Campbell wants Grant Flower to play World Cup". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  12. ^ "Flower backs Zimbabwe Test return". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 25 October 2021.
  13. ^ "Grant Flower Profile - ICC Ranking, Age, Career Info & Stats". Cricbuzz. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  14. ^ "Grant Flower named Pakistan batting coach". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  15. ^ "Grant Flower pinpoints worst things about living in Pakistan". The Indian Express. 16 August 2019. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  16. ^ "Grant Flower sacked as Pakistan batting coach". NewZimbabwe.com. 7 August 2019. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  17. ^ "'Will miss the friendly people, but not the backstabbing ex-players' - Grant Flower". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  18. ^ "Grant Flower gets Bangladesh Premier League coaching role". NewZimbabwe.com. 19 November 2019. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  19. ^ "Flower appointed Sri Lanka batting coach". NewZimbabwe.com. 8 December 2019. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  20. ^ "Sri Lanka batting 'the worst I've seen' - Grant Flower". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  21. ^ "Grant Flower pleased with Sri Lanka application despite 'giving them three wickets'". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  22. ^ "Mickey Arthur To Be Sri Lanka's Next Head Coach; Grant Flower, David Sekar Among Support Staff". www.outlookindia.com/. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  23. ^ "SL batting coach Grant Flower tests positive for Covid-19 after returning from England". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  24. ^ "Sri Lanka batting coach Grant Flower tests positive for COVID-19 ahead of India series". The Hindu. PTI. 8 July 2021. ISSN 0971-751X.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  25. ^ "Sri Lanka allowed to come out of isolation as players return negative tests". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 11 July 2021.

External linksEdit