Coloured quota still a bone of contention: Flower

Published: Thursday, October 9, 2003, 21:03 [IST]
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Adelaide: The issue of having a quota of coloured players in the Zimbabwean cricket side has been a "bone of contention" within the team, former skipper Andy Flower said in Adelaide on Thursday. Flower, in exile from Zimbabwe following his protest against the Mugabe regime during the World Cup earlier this year, arrived in Adelaide on Thursday to play for South Australia in the Australian summer season. Zimbabwean players and officials have denied there is a quota of coloured players within the team to play Australia in the current first Test in Perth, saying the side was chosen on merit. The issue was raised by Flower's former teammate, batsman Murray Goodwin, who said black cricketers got a "free ride" into the Zimbabwe team. "That has been a bone of contention for a number of years," Flower said. "I haven't been involved in the Zimbabwe set-up for a while but that has certainly been an issue over the years. "Some believe it's the right way forward and some disagree. "There are various schools of thought and there has certainly been an element of it over the years, and probably is now." Flower said wicketkeeper and vice-captain Tatenda Taibu, who is playing Australia in the first test, and fast bowler Douglas Hondo, who missed through injury, deserved their positions. "The guys that are there at the moment are (good enough)," he said. "I have played some cricket with a lot of those guys. "Zimbabwe is a very young side, the sooner those guys get in there and face up to stiff competition, the better. "Guys like Taibu and Hondo have done pretty well in short stints in international cricket and I hope they carry on their learning experience." Copyright AFP 2001

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