03 October 2010
Campbell wants Grant Flower to play CWC 2011
Zimbabwe chief selector Alistair Campbell hopes to see Grant Flower play until ICC Cricket World Cup 2011
Grant Flower returns to international cricket after six years.
Flower, currently Zimbabwe's batting coach, was also recalled after six years to play in South Africa during a One-Day International and Twenty20 international series against the hosts.
"I've been speaking to Grant Flower throughout the season, and he had a tremendous season with Essex," Campbell told Cricket365. "He averaged 65 for them in their 40-over competition and I've got a theory or a philosophy that with his work ethic, batting alongside some of the younger batsmen during this tour will be invaluable insofar as their progression is concerned.
"I think it will be a really good start for his coaching career if he can be at the front line with some of those youngsters and get to know how they react under pressure. Also just to be that wise old head on the field, which we seriously need at the moment.
"Particularly with guys like [Brendan] Taylor, [Hamilton] Masakadza and [Tatenda] Taibu, I just think that they will feed off him and respond to him being out there."
Campbell thought Flower might have a couple of years left in him still: "I do, he doesn't. The agreement we have is that we'll just play it tour by tour and see where he's at. He says he's got a few niggling injuries and the like, but he's committed to this tour and for our domestic Twenty20 tournament, and then we'll play it by ear from there.
"I wouldn't say he's got a couple of years, but I would dearly love him to play up to and including the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 - that's always been my aim."
"We've been sticking with younger players because we simply haven't had any senior batsmen in the country, so it's not going back on anything," explained Campbell. "The oldest guy around is left-arm spinner Raymond Price, and Brendan Taylor is the only batsman approaching 30."
Squad regular Charles Coventry has been left out of the squad, but Campbell is hopeful that this will continue to raise performances.
"The player who's replaced Coventry, Sean Williams, got that 178 against Ireland in the four-day game, got 73 [against Ireland] and was looking good for his 20-odd in the game before when he was run out," said Campbell.
"Craig Ervine is involved as well and we want to try and groom him because he looks like a bright prospect. Another guy we've added to the squad, Keith Dabengwa, got 140 against Ireland [in the ICC Intercontinental Cup] and has been good in franchise cricket.
"So I think the guys are feeling the pressure. The players that thought they were established know the proof is in the pudding and they have to put in consistent performances to get into the side. In every other country where that came about the standards improved and you get your real cream coming to the top and that's the aim."
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