The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Olonga listens to voice of conscience

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

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.

“It is with great sadness that I am officially announcing my retirement from international cricket,” Olonga said. “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.”

Meanwhile, a “very sad” Andy Flower on Saturday recalled his batting exploits in India and regretted he would not get any more chance to play there. “I had some great trips to India. It is a great place to play cricket,” the Zimbabwean batsman said.

Flower, 34, issued a statement during his final match, the Super Six clash at Buffalo Park.

“For the last 13 years it has been an honour and a privilege to represent my country.

“However, it is now time for my family and me to move on. Perhaps, in the years to come, I will be able to play a role in the cricketing fortunes of Zimbabwe. To all Zimbabweans who have supported me from my debut until today I want to say thank you.”

“I always find it strange when people say they have no regrets about what they have done in the last 20 years,” said Flower.

“I have made mistakes both on and off the field but I have kept learning.”

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