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Three pairs of siblings in a Test

The presence of brothers in a cricket team is not quite a rare event in international cricket. In the Harare Test match, 1997, Zimbabwe entered the ground with three sets of brothers.

Last updated: 18.09.2019
Three pairs of siblings in a Test | Sports Social Blog

The presence of brothers in a cricket team is not quite a rare event in international cricket. There were many such cases where the talent is observed in multiple members in the family and then those siblings were selected in the same team.

In the very first Test in 1877, the Australian captain Dave Gregory was playing with his brother Ned. In the first Test on English soil, the great WG Grace was joined by his brothers Edward and Fred. Even Pakistan went one step better and four brothers from the Mohammad family played together at times for them.

But the Harare Test match, started on 18th September 1997 had a different significance. By that time Zimbabwe were coming up the ranks to become a more competitive team than the minnows and some good young players were coming up as well. However, with a close cricket community till that time, there were quite a few instances of siblings doing well in domestic cricket to get selected. And in this Test match against New Zealand,  Zimbabwe entered the ground with three sets of brothers. 

There were the Flower brothers, Andy and Grant. Whereas Andy was already a star and the key Wicketkeeper-batsman for the team, Grant also established himself as a solid opener. The next were the Rennie brothers. Gavin was the opener with the bat and John was the opener with the ball. And finally, they had Paul and Brian Strang, two bowling all-rounders with Paul bowling leg-spin and Brian bowling left-arm medium. Not only that, Zimbabwe also had Guy Whittall with his cousin Andy being the twelfth man.

Zimbabwe did pretty well in that test match. One of the brothers Grant Flower was the star as he delivered centuries in both innings to help them reach a strong position. Zimbabwe scored 298 in the first innings with Grant scoring 104 and Paul Strang 42. While bowling, the Strang brothers took five wickets together to bowl out New Zealand for 207. Thanks to Grant’s masterful 151 in the second innings Zimbabwe built on that 91 runs lead to finally give a target of 403 to New Zealand.

At 122/5, it looked like Zimbabwe would manage to get a victory but a dogged unbeaten 71 from Chris Cairns with support from Adam Parore (51) and Chris Harris (41) helped them achieve a draw.

John Rennie was not very successful in international cricket and never played for Zimbabwe after this Test. Hence this remained the only instances of three pairs of siblings playing together in a Test match.

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