WC 2003 - I would love to talk but I am restricted, says Olonga

Published: Monday, March 10, 2003, 22:31 [IST]
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Bloemfontein: Zimbabwe fast bowler Henry Olonga claimed on Monday he had been banned from talking about his anti-Robert Mugabe protest on orders from the very top of the regime."I would love to talk to you guys but I am not allowed to," Olonga said at Goodyear Park where Zimbabwe plays its next Super Six match against Kenya on Wednesday.

"You can guess who has got the power to prevent me from speaking to you."Olonga hasn't played in Zimbabwe's World Cup campaign since the opening group match against Namibia in Harare on February 10 although he has carried out 12th man duties.The bowler and leading batsman Andy Flower won worldwide praise for their decision to wear black armbands and issue a statement condemning what they called the "death of democracy" in Zimbabwe.

They pledged to carry on their protest throughout the World Cup despite coming under severe pressure to abandon the gesture with both men threatened with having their international careers terminated.Olonga has already been sacked by his domestic club while Flower was on the verge of being dropped from the national team only to be reprieved when other senior players refused to take part if he wasn't chosen.

"It's very difficult to assess your form when you are carrying drinks all the time," added Olonga who is likely to sit out the game against Kenya which Zimbabwe must win if they are to have any chance of reaching the semi-finals.Copyright AFP 2001

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