The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Move for Olonga asylum in Britain

London: Zimbabwe paceman Henry Olonga, currently in hiding in South Africa, has said his playing career may not yet be over.

“If there is a change of regime that might make my return without fear of prosecution feasible, I will come out of retirement tomorrow to play again for the Zimbabwe I love,” Olonga told The Mail Sunday.

Meanwhile, moves were being set in motion to press for Olonga to be granted sanctuary in Britain along with a work permit and the protection of asylum, the report said.

Maidstone MP and former cabinet minister Ann Widdecombe has agreed to process a visa application for Olonga, it said.

According to the report, businessman and cricketing entrepreneur David Folb has offered him a contract to play for his Kent-based side, Lashings, and has been in touch with Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson and Widdecombe to cement a deal that guarantees Olonga a future.

Olonga, facing repercussions for mourning the “death of democracy in Zimbabwe” during the World Cup, is seeking asylum in Britain keeping secret his whereabouts now.

Not even Andy Flower, fellow protester who announced his retirement from international cricket at the same time that Olonga quit last saturday, has managed to breach Olonga’s undercover existence.

His fear for life has been accelerated by a barrage of hate-mails making it clear that his return to homeland is to risk death. “The messages are very threatening,” Olonga said.

Olonga, who may face treason charges, which carry death in Zimbabwe, said: “I have fallen foul of the authorities and who knows what could happen if I set foot on Zimbabwean soil”.

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