The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Harare heroes in armband dilemma

Harare, Feb. 17: Andy Flower and Henry Olonga, who authored unusual history last Monday, may not wear the black armband in Wednesday’s match against India. Instead, they could issue another statement, iterating their stand (on democracy) announced so dramatically during the Zimbabwe versus Namibia game.

“While it’s true both did declare they would continue to wear the armband throughout the World Cup, the Zimbabwe Cricket Union and the ICC have asked them not to do a repeat. As their point has been made, it’s possible that only a statement may be made two days from now,” a Flower confidant told The Telegraph late tonight.

A decision is expected by tomorrow evening.

The confidant added: “In any case, both wish to continue playing in the tournament and another show of protest could bring about President Robert Mugabe’s intervention. Right now, they don’t wish to precipitate matters. That the ICC has called for a stop to cricket being used for political purposes is something they should respect.”

Significantly, Flower and Olonga had a half-hour meeting outside the dressing room, at the Harare Sports Club, on conclusion of the day’s workout. They were briefly joined by two teammates.

Apparently, Flower is a bit “worried” that just a statement may not go down well among the many Zimbabweans who have supported his and Olonga’s move. At the same time, he doesn’t wish to quit international cricket with the stigma of being thrown out of the biggest-ever show.

Also, Flower is “concerned” about any backlash which could hurt brother Grant’s career. “He’s a different person… an individual with a mind of his own. I hope nobody tries to settle scores with him,” is what Flower is understood to have told well-wishers.

Flower has received an offer from South Australia and may head for Adelaide after another summer at Essex.

Though it couldn’t be confirmed, there are whispers that Olonga (first Black to don the Zimbabwe cap) could migrate to either the US or Australia.

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