WC 2003 - Olonga facing treason , goes into hiding: Press
Published: Sunday, March 16, 2003, 19:50 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Olonga decides to retire as he fears for his life
London: Zimbabwean fast bowler Henry Olonga, who announced his retirement from international cricket on Saturday, has gone into hiding to dodge Zimbabwe's secret police, a British paper said on Sunday.Seven plainclothes officers from Zimbabwe's secret police, believed to be from the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), arrived on Friday in East London, South Africa where Zimbabwe faced the Sri Lankans, The Sunday Telegraph reported.Olonga "had been told the officers intended to 'escort him home', where a likely charge of treason awaited", the newspaper said. The punishment for treason in Zimbabwe is death.At mid-afternoon officers from the World Cup-appointed Close Protection Unit returned to the players' hotel and packed all of Olonga's personal possessions in case he was intercepted after the match, the paper said."He was pretty shaken but he seemed to be coping as well as anyone can in a situation like that," a teammate told The Sunday Telegraph after the match on Saturday which Zimbabwe lost by 74 runs."He sounded reasonably clear about what was going to happen, if it all went well, and was staying positive," the source said.England remains Olonga's most likely final destination, as long as political asylum is granted, the paper said.Earlier the Zimbabwean fast bowler made a retirement statement:"I have been receiving threatening e-mails since the protests which I believe have made it dangerous for me to return to Zimbabwe," Olonga, 26, said."It is with great sadness that I am officially announcing my retirement from international cricket," the statement said.