25 June 2014
Brothers in Arms: Zimbabwe
In this series we take a look at the collection of brothers who have taken part in the ICC Cricket World Cup. This month, it’s those who have represented Zimbabwe.
The Flower brothers played in eight ICC Cricket World Cups between them.
Appearing in eight tournaments between them, the Flower brothers represent one of the most prolific families to ever appear at the ICC Cricket World Cup. And with 815 runs at an average of 32.60 over 30 world cup matches, Andy will go down as one of the best wicketkeeper-batsmen to ever appear at the tournament.
As part of a developing side in 1992, Zimbabwe suffered seven straight defeats before ending the tournament on a high with a win over England. Although Zimbabwe struggled, Andy showed why he would become one of the world’s best keeper-batsmen, with 115 not out against Sri Lanka.
By 1996, the Flower brothers had established themselves as two of the most consistent performers in the side. Although Zimbabwe only recorded one win at the tournament, it was clear the team was on the rise.
With Andy behind the stumps and Grant contributing with his all-round skills, Zimbabwe enjoyed its best ICC Cricket World Cup in 1999. Playing in a tough pool, Zimbabwe enjoyed shock upsets over both India and South Africa to progress beyond the pool stage for the first time. Andy played a key role in the win over India – top scoring with 68 not out.
The 2003 tournament saw Zimbabwe make the Super Six phase once again, but three convincing losses meant its tournament went no further.
The Strang brothers: Paul (1996, 1999) and Bryan (1996)
The Strangs played together in Zimbabwe’s 1996 campaign – with Paul’s fine leg-spin one of the stand-out features of the tournament.
Paul played a crucial role in Zimbabwe’s only win in 1996, taking 5-21 against Kenya. Younger brother Bryan played four matches in the tournament, picking up three wickets at an average of 27 with his slippery left-arm bowling.
In 1999, Paul was the solo Strang to feature in Zimbabwe’s promising campaign. His best performance at the tournament came in a losing effort against the West Indies. He spun out all four of the West Indies wickets to fall and chipped in with a quick-fire 22 not out batting down the order.
The Ervine brothers: Sean (2003) and Craig (2011)
The Ervine brothers were separated by eight years in their ICC Cricket World Cup appearances, with Sean appearing first, in 2003.
Older brother Sean was impressive in his limited opportunities in 2003. In his first outing against Pakistan, he picked up the prize scalp of Inzamam-ul-Haq with his medium-pacers. Then in the Super Six match against New Zealand, he produced a whirlwind cameo of 31 not out off 14 balls. Although he didn’t appear in another tournament, he finished with an impressive ICC Cricket World Cup batting average of 43.
Younger brother Craig was the standout batsmen for Zimbabwe in the 2011 tournament. After being dismissed for a duck by Australia’s Mitchell Johnson in his first appearance, he bounced back to score 231 runs in his next five innings - including three fifties.
Auckland First XI: Tourist Highlights
ICC Cricket World Cup Top Ten: All Round Performances