WC 2003 - Matches in India were my most memorable: Andy

Published: Sunday, February 16, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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East London (South Africa): A "very sad" Andy Flower on Saturday bid adieu to international cricket recalling his batting exploits in India and regretting that he would not get any more chance to play there."I had some great trips to India. It is a great place to play cricket," the Zimbabwean batsman said after the World Cup Super Six match against Sri Lanka, his last international match.Flower's illustrious career ended on an unfortunate note as he was adjudged leg before wicket for 38 even though he had produced a healthy inside edge. "This is a very sad moment for me... I played against some good sides and good people and will be leaving behind good mates," said the left-hander whose family has already moved to England where he plans to play county cricket this year.Flower recalled his fond memories of playing in India where he has scored 820 runs from five Test matches at an astounding average of 117.14. His career-best score of 232 not out also came on the Indian soil."I don't think I will making many more runs there...," he said. Flower has done particularly well against India, scoring 1138 runs from nine Tests at a Bradmanesque average of 94.83, substantially higher that his career average of 51.54. In 36 One-day Internationals against India, he plundered 1298 runs at an average of 40.56 again higher than his career average 35.32. His best One-day score of 145 also came against India. Flower described his team's Test wins - "there weren't many" - as special moments for him and said he was glad he could take Zimbabwean cricket to where it is today. Perhaps the game's greatest exponent of the reverse sweep, Flower was ranked the world's number one batsman for a fairly long time. Before the match, Flower said in a statement that it had "been an honour and a privilege to represent my country. The decision to bring my international career to an end has been a difficult and sad one to make.""To all Zimbabweans who have supported me from my debut until today I want to say thank you." Skipper Heath Streak thanked Flower for the "great times" and paid tributes to him for putting Zimbabwean cricket on the world map. "Flower will in Zimbabwe's memory for a very long time. His record speaks for itself. He will be in the record books for a long time," Streak said.The captain described Flower's "unfortunate" dismissal as the turning point in Saturday's game. "It was big wicket for Sri Lanka. It was not an idealwicket and batting was difficult for those who came in after Flower," Streak said. PTI

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