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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 January, 2004, 10:40 GMT
Olonga: 'Sport must act against Mugabe'

By Henry Olonga
Former Zimbabwe fast bowler

Olonga was forced to flee Zimbabwe after wearing a black armband during a World Cup match to protest against Robert Mugabe's regime and believes England's tour should be cancelled.

"When I made my protest last year I was living in a country and representing a country that I felt had some hidden secrets which the world needed to know about.

I felt it was my mission to bring to the world's attention what was happening.

Hundreds of thousands of people had been possibly tortured and murdered over the last few years in ethnic cleansing, people had been cleared off farms and corruption was rampant - yet the world largely did now know about it.

Andy Flower
Along with Olonga, Andy Flower turned his back on Zimbabwe cricket

I felt then, as I feel now, that any pressure that can be brought to bear on the Government in Zimbabwe is welcome from whatever quarter.

People can criticise the situation because it appears sport is mixing with politics.

But I have always been a proponent of the argument that they have always mixed and always will.

It's not a desirable situation but it is a fact.

Not enough people have rallied round Zimbabwe even though the country is in dire staits and people are struggling and suffering.

I think the ECB is very wise to listen to public sentiment this time.

This ECB report is saying we should disagree with what's happening on moral grounds.

That should have been the argument last year when England went to the World Cup and were due to play a game in Zimbabwe."

Former Zimbabwean cricketer Henry Olonga
"I think the ECB are very wise to take in public sentiment"

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