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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

Olonga retires from international cricket

March 15, 2003 21:50 IST

Zimbabwe fast bowler Henry Olonga announced his retirement from international cricket on Saturday after his team's final match in the World Cup.

Olonga, 26, was omitted from the Zimbabwe team for the final Super Six match against Sri Lanka. Zimbabwe, already eliminated from the tournament, lost by 74 runs.

In a statement Olonga said his decision had been a matter of personal conviction and added he believed it might be dangerous for him to return to Zimbabwe in the current political climate.

He also said he did not want to be seen to condone what he called human rights abuses in his country by continuing to play cricket for the national side.

Olonga and team mate Andy Flower made international headlines when they took to the field wearing black armbands "to mourn the death of democracy" in Zimbabwe for their first match of the World Cup in Harare.

Flower, Zimbabwe's best batsman and one of the finest in the world, announced his retirement from the international stage on Friday night. The 34-year-old left-hander, who averaged more than 50 in Test cricket, top-scored with 38 on Saturday in his final innings for his country.

"It is with great sadness that I am officially announcing my retirement from international cricket," Olonga continued. "My continued involvement with the Zimbabwean team has become untenable.

"The stand I took earlier in the World Cup has undoubtedly had repercussions that have affected both my career and my personal life. I have received threatening e-mails which, I believe, make it dangerous for me to return to Zimbabwe.

"I was never under the illusion that my stand would have no consequences but I believe that one should have the courage of one's convictions in life and do all one can to uphold them.

"I believe that if I were to continue to play for Zimbabwe in the midst of the prevailing crisis I would do so only by neglecting the voice of my conscience."

In a statement on Saturday, Flower said it had been an honour and privilege to represent his country for the past 13 years.

"The decision had been a difficult and sad one to make," he said. "However it is now time for my family and I to move on.

"Perhaps in the years to come, I will be able to play a role in the cricketing fortunes of Zimbabwe."

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Number of User Comments: 2

Sub: Wish Olonga and Andy

I wish Olonga and Andy Flower for their prosperous future. Though they may leave their homeland for safety and for good future, I would like ...

Posted by A.Guru prasad

Sub: Henry Olanga

I think it would be a good idea for one of the Indian cricket teams to offer him ( Olanga) a contract.India should also go ...

Posted by Ven Hari


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