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Last Updated:  Sunday, 23 February, 2003, 14:53 GMT
Olonga 'was right to protest'
Henry Olonga
Olonga has been sacked by his club
The father of Zimbabwe cricketer Henry Olonga has backed his son's protest against the regime of Robert Mugabe.

The 26-year-old paceman was sacked by his club and warned his international career was in jeopardy after he wore a black armband to register his anger at the deteriorating conditions in the famine-hit country.

But his father insists his son was right to make a stand.

"It needed someone to come out and say it," Dr John Olonga, a paediatric surgeon in Bulawayo, told the South African Sunday Times.

"What he stood for is legitimate. The suffering masses here are the blacks. This country is in a calamity and it is mostly the black people who suffer.

"What people are stomaching is intolerable.

"I wake up at four in the morning and go into the city and people are queuing for a loaf of bread they might not even get for that whole day.

I've had some discussions and to be honest it is something I'd like to do
Andy Flower on playing cricket in Australia

"It is terrible because this is commonplace here. It's dehumanising."

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe batsman Andy Flower, who also wore a black armband to register his dismay with life in his country, could play cricket in Australia.

He told Sydney's Sun-Herald newspaper he was close to signing a deal with an unidentified Australian state team.

"I've had some discussions and to be honest it is something I'd like to do," he said.

"The talks I've had have been very positive and the appeal is very obvious. We should know exactly what is happening in the next couple of weeks."

Links to more Zimbabwe stories


Olonga expelled from club
20 Feb 03 |  Zimbabwe
Protest players meet Zim officials
22 Feb 03 |  Zimbabwe
Protest duo 'keep it personal'
20 Feb 03 |  Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe duo escape action
14 Feb 03 |  Zimbabwe

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