The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Grant wanted to join Andy, Olonga

Worcester: Zimbabwe batsman Grant Flower has come out here in support of his brother Andy’s controversial World Cup protest.

During Zimbabwe’s opening match in February, against Namibia in Harare, Andy Flower and Henry Olonga wore black armbands and issued a statement mourning the “death of democracy” in Zimbabwe under president Robert Mugabe.

And Grant said Wednesday the only reason he had not joined the duo was because he was worried about lessening the impact of the duo’s protest. “I agreed with what they did,” Grant said Wednesday.

“To be honest, I wanted to join them. But I thought it would be a better and a bigger statement if it was just the two of them, one white person and one black person.

“I think what they did was a good thing,” added Grant ahead of Zimbabwe’s tour match against Worcestershire starting here at new road Friday. “It wasn’t a matter of colour, it was a question of right and wrong,” explained Flower who added he had spoken to, but not yet seen, his brother.

Andy Flower retired from international cricket after the World Cup and is now playing for English county Essex while Olonga is also in England, playing for a club side having narrowly escaped arrest by the Zimbabwe security services in South Africa.

The Flowers’ parents are also living in England, as are Andy’s wife and children.

Grant admitted it was odd no longer having Andy, a cornerstone of the team since Zimbabwe’s admission to Test cricket in 1992, in the side but denied feeling lonely.

“It’s different, but I wouldn’t say I feel isolated,” the top order bat and left-arm spinner insisted. “Zimbabwe is still a great place to live in even though we’re having tough times.”

And he maintained that his relationship with his brother had in no way been damaged by any fall-out from Andy’s protest. “We get on very well. We are very competitive but we helped with each other’s games.”

“We probably over-relied on Andy. We’d always thought he’d do it. Now it’s up to the other guys to step up to the plate.”

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