View Full Version : Tough times for Zimbabwe, admits Grant Flower

October 13, 2003, 08:17 AM
Tough times for Zimbabwe, admits Grant Flower

Telford Vice

October 12, 2003

Grant Flower doesn't agree with media opinion that the Zimbabwe side under the Australian cosh in the first Test at Perth is a virtual 2nd XI. Speaking from Harare, he told Wisden Cricinfo: "I wouldn't say it's a 2nd XI, because these days there's not a lot to choose from."

Rain ended play on the fourth day at the WACA with Zimbabwe staring down both barrels of a crushing defeat. They were 272 for 9 in their follow-on, still a distant 224 runs from making Australia bat again with only one wicket left. Rain all day tomorrow is their only hope of avoiding defeat, even though Australia have two bowlers - Jason Gillespie and Stuart MacGill - out injured.

"With Andrew [Flower] and Henry [Olonga] going overseas, and Alistair Campbell and Guy Whittall retiring, that's probably the best available team," said Flower. "The loss of key players like those had a lot to do with what's happening in Australia, but it's been a while coming. It's just the way things are run here."

Olonga and Andy Flower left Zimbabwe after the 2003 World Cup as a result of hostile government reaction to their black-armband protest at what they termed the "death of democracy" in their country, while fellow stalwarts Campbell and Whittall quit the game at roughly the samwe time.

Grant Flower, who had to drop out of the Australian tour after breaking a finger in a domestic match, suspects that Zimbabwe's decline is shortening Bangladesh's days as Test cricket's whipping boys. "I think Bangladesh are right behind us, and it's a matter of time before they catch up to us maybe two years," Flower said. "I'm not trying to be negative, just realistic."

The Zimbabwean team, Flower admitted, was crumbling under the strain of repeated poor performances. "We've been getting caned for quite a while," he said. "I wouldn't say it's a good thing to get used to it, and it sounds terrible, but I think that's what's happening."

Flower, who is now Zimbabwe's most-capped Test player, said he felt for his team-mates as they endured the sharp end of Matthew Hayden's 380 at Perth, which surpassed Brian Lara's 375 as the record Test score.

"I watched most of it, and it's a bit disheartening to chase leather all day like that, but it was a brilliant knock. I saw some of Lara's 375 [against England in 1993-94], which was definitely made against much better bowling. But that's not to take anything away from Hayden it was a wonderful effort."

Wisden Cricinfo Ltd

October 13, 2003, 10:09 AM
Not yet.When Other super star Leave Zimbabwe then the begin of Tough Days for Zimbabwe.