The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Andy gave me strength to protest: Olonga

London: Former Zimbabwe fast bowler Henry Olonga revealed on Monday that he had not been sure whether he would have been able to go through with his black armband protest on his own at the World Cup in February.

The 26-year-old along with White teammate Andy Flower wore black armbands and issued a statement mourning the “death of democracy” in Zimbabwe under President Robert Mugabe at the World Cup match with Namibia.

However Olonga told the BBC that had he not been approached by Andy he may well not have gone ahead with it.

“I didn’t know if I had the strength. I was wavering at the time,” he revealed.

“However when Andy suggested it after he had been approached by a third party I decided I would do it. We just thought it was the right thing to do. Not enough people have stood up.”

He claimed that he and Andy did not want to include any other members of the team in their protest — Flower’s brother Grant has revealed he had wanted to join in but thought it would look as if they had bullied Olonga into it.

“More would have muddied the waters,” Olonga said. “I believe it added more credibility to the stand with one White man and one Black man protesting.”

Olonga also said it would have been good if other countries had made a similar effort like England, who boycotted their match in Zimbabwe over security fears.

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