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Grant Flower retires

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Zimbabwean batsman Grant Flower has confirmed he has retired from playing cricket to focus on his job as national batting coach.

Flower, who played in Zimbabwe’s inaugural Test match in 1992 and hit a career-best 201 not out as Zimbabwe beat Pakistan by an innings in 1995, made a comeback to international cricket late last year, playing two one-day internationals (ODIs) against South Africa in October.

He scored 13 and 22, playing his first ODIs after more than six years, during which time he enjoyed a spell with Essex, playing mainly one-day cricket.

“I have drawn the line,” he told Zimbabwe Cricket’s website www.zimcricket.org.

“I had to make the decision whether to coach properly or continue playing properly. I think there’s enough talent coming through and I don’t want to hold anyone back. I’ve had a good run and I’ve enjoyed it, but there is a transition from player to coach, and I think it’s time to take it.”

Among Flower’s achievements in a career that saw him represent Zimbabwe in 67 Tests and 221 ODIs was the landmark of becoming the first Zimbabwean to score a century in both innings of a Test match, scored against New Zealand in 1997 while he also batted against

Pakistan, making an unbeaten 156.

He spent most of his international career playing alongside his brother and wicketkeeper Andy, who since retiring in 2006, has also forged a successful career in coaching, leading England to an Ashes victory in 2009, the ICC World Twenty20 crown in 2010 and helping them retain the Ashes in Australia this winter.

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