London:Grant Flower, the former Zimbabwe all-rounder, has extended his contract with Essex, which will keep him with the English county until the end of next season.
Flower, 37, a right-hand bat and left-arm spin bowler, has enjoyed a fine finish to the 2008 campaign, making a match-winning unbeaten 70 as Essex beat Kent in the Friends Provident Trophy one-day final at Lord's and making a dashing 68 not out, also against Kent, as his county secured the Pro 40 Second Division title.
"Halfway through the season I thought that would probably be it (the end of my Essex career at the finish of the year) but I'm very happy to be staying at Essex. Sussex did speak to me but I always thought that if Essex offered me something I would stay," said Flower.
"They are a good bunch of guys at Essex and I've been here for four years so at this stage in my career I wouldn't want to move on, ideally."
Flower, whose brother Andy, a former Zimbabwe captain, is now England's batting coach, added: "There is a good spirit and winning culture at Essex and I don't see why we can't get better.
"With the young guys coming through, and new signings, in theory we should be stronger with more competition for places."
Grant Flower played 67 Tests and 219 one-day internationals for Zimbabwe between 1992 to 2004 before his career at the highest level was cut short when he acted as a spokesman for 'rebel' players in their dispute with the national board following a row about racial selection quotas.